Car Dealer Insider Jun 15, 2006
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Car Dealer Insider Jun 15, 2006

A heads up on avoiding age discrimination claims

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A heads up on avoiding age discrimination claims

Business is a little slow for car dealers these days and that means some dealers will take the unusual step of laying off productive employees. But be careful. As the average of the American workforce has risen, so have the number of age discrimination claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity commission.

Preventing claims Age discrimination charges can easily result from careless decisions made by a dealership manager, or supervisor prior to a layoff or termination. In fact, these claims can come up any time older workers think they are being treated differently than younger employees.

A 2005 Supreme Court verdict interpreting the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) highlighted exactly this issue. The case underscores that dealers need to pay more attention to potential age discrimination claims. A good place to start is with an overview of the ADEA's protections. Here are some of the most common age discrimination questions and answers.

What does the ADEA protect? The ADEA prohibits employers with 20 or more employees from discriminating in employment against individuals who are age 40 and older in any terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. Thus, as an obvious example, companies generally may not fire or refuse to hire someone in the protected group simply because of the individual's age.

In addition if a dealership's employment decisions have a "disparate impact" older workers, they may be discriminatory even if they are not directly based on... (238 of 953 words)

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