As a business owner, have you heard your manager claim that someone is too old to hire for a particular job? Or, have there been discussions that a younger person would be a better candidate for any number of reasons?
This line of thinking is something to watch out for because it very well may fall under age discrimination and put you at risk for an employment dispute or lawsuit.
Recently, the largest rent-a-car company in the nation, Enterprise Holdings Inc. settled a claim against its subsidiary Enterprise Rent-A-Car Company of Los Angeles. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed charges alleging that the Los Angeles location in Burbank, California denied 10 job applicants positions between 2008 and 2011 based on age. According to the EEOC, all of the applicants were age 40 and older, but the company hired younger less qualified candidates instead. The EEOC found that the company hired no applicants over 40 into their management trainee position during this three-year period. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits age discrimination of persons who are 40 or older when hiring or promoting employees.
The company disputed the allegation and argued that it failed to hire the older applicants because they were less qualified.
However, rather than pay the expenses of litigation, Enterprise Rent-A-Car of Los Angeles settled for $425,000 and entered into a three-year conciliation agreement. Besides the monetary payment, conditions of the agreement included:
- Redistribution of the company’s anti-discrimination policy to all employees in the L.A. metro area
- EEO training emphasizing age discrimination for all staff
- Maintenance of an appropriate record-keeping system
- Public press release on the matter
No company is too large or too small to benefit from trustworthy legal defense when facing allegations of discrimination. Stephen Hans & Associates is glad to provide your business with effective legal guidance and representation.