Fair Warning: EEOC Focuses on Age Issues

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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) heard testimony on Nov. 17 in Washington, D.C., regarding the impact today’s economy is having upon older workers.  The picture that emerges is that older workers, who often confront challenges of finding and keeping meaningful employment in good times, now face increased employment difficulties in the current economic downturn. One expert testified that the rate of unemployment for older workers climbed from a pre-recesssion rate of 3.0% to 7.3% in August 2010.  And, older workers are having a greater difficulty landing work than workers under 55.

Not surprisingly,  the number and percentage of age discrimination in employment charges filed by older workers with the EEOC have grown from 16,548 charges in fiscal 2006, 21.8% of all charges, to 22,778 charges in fiscal 2009, 24.4% of all charges.

As strategic Orlando Human Resources consultants and business partners, we see this activity as fair warning to the business community: Get out ahead of this train!  Make certain that employment decisions are performance-based. Treat older team members with the dignity and respect they deserve.  Older workers have lots to contribute and just want a fair shake, like everyone else. That’s not asking too much. And, its the law. And it builds winning teams.

Rick and Christina

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