Is “workforce modernization” code for age discrimination at work?

age discrimination more energetic employeeAt the heart of a lot of age discrimination cases under the federal ADEA and state-level Texas Labor Code is an employer trying to modernize the business and employs age stereotypes to justify eliminating older workers. Employers in these cases want a “youthful appearance” or “faster” or “more energetic” or “more tech savvy” workforce. They adopt stereotypes that imply older workers cannot adapt to new technologies or services. There’s nothing wrong with employers wanting to evolve their business to remain profitable.

Age discrimination based on stereotypes

However, it is never acceptable to use stereotypes to arbitrarily cut out older employees. Older employees may be just as capable of adapting to change as the younger employees. Before discharge, the employer must make a performance-based analysis. However, many employers do not make that analysis. They leap to the conclusion based on stereotypes, which creates liability under anti-discrimination statutes that prohibit age discrimination. These identity or brand-based age discrimination cases are on the rise but there are still a lot of age discrimination cases based on the more traditional forms of age discrimination, such as harassment and discharging older workers solely for the purpose of bringing in younger, cheaper employees.

Age discrimination is particularly harmful because it affects employees when they should be at the pinnacle of their earning potential, which in turn has negative effects on retirement savings, paying off debt, helping their children pay for college and other financial goals later in life. Due to the economic downturn, many older workers have no choice to stay in the workforce. The reduced opportunities to earn meaningful wages further compounds the negative effects of age discrimination.

Employment lawyer for age discrimination

If you suffered a negative employment act and your age was a factor then you need to speak with an employment attorney immediately. You have a limited amount of time to begin the process of preserving your rights. Employment lawyers represent employees in age discrimination and other types of discrimination cases. Age discrimination can have a significant impact on your job, your career and your retirement. The ADEA and Texas Labor Code prohibit employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of age. Contact an employment attorney now to learn more about your rights.

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