Articles About the Workplace
Congress in Tiff Over English-Only Rules (AP)
Or maybe some thoughts about solutions.
—Before firing an employee in the protected age group (particularly someone in his/her 50’s and 60’s) who has been with you a long time, you must get legal advice.
Age discrimination will get a little more attention this week.
A hot topic in all kinds of companies and organizations these days is succession planning. Makes sense. Need leaders for the future. Can’t let the status quo hold us back. Infusion of new energy is good. Uh oh.
As noted in a post on November 8, 2007, sexual orientation is finally picking up some steam as a possible protected class under federal law.
OK, age discrimination is becoming a bigger and bigger problem. So, we’ll just buy off the old timers. You know what I mean. We’ll pay them some money in separation pay or in a severance package. They’ll sign an agreement containing the magic language required by the Older Workers’ Benefits Protection Act (so many days to review and so many days to revoke, depending on whether it’s the termination of a single employee or a group) and a release of all claims against the employer plus the agreement not to file a charge with the EEOC. It’ll cost us more money as the boomers age. But that’s just the cost of doing business.
Does he have a case? And what would that case be?
Well, he’s African-American, which puts him in the protected class of race. He’s also over 40, which puts him in the protected age group. But no one will seriously claim that a team’s failure to hire Bonds has something to do with his race or age.
Some age discrimination cases are settled, and some are tried. Either way, they’re dangerous, particularly if the EEOC gets interested. Check out a settlement described on the EEOC’s website. Go to www.eeoc.gov. Type in EEOC v. Sidley Austin next to Search and click Go. It’ll take you to an EEOC press release on this case. This is a case that was hard fought (meaning it cost a lot of money) before a settlement was reached. The amount of the settlement? North of $27 million.
What’s the big employment lawsuit for the first half of the 21st century? I can’t be sure, but I think a safe guess is age discrimination.
One session is about “The Employer’s Role in a Religiously Diverse Workplace.” This is being presented by Mark Schickman with Freeland, Cooper & Foreman in San Francisco and Nancy Williams with Perkins Coie in its Seattle office. Mark and Audra Hamilton from Tulsa, Oklahoma, presented this program at AEIS in Nashville.
Our first session is about “The Latest ADA Challenges–And How to Handle Them.” This is being presented by Bob Kaiser with Armstrong Teasdale in St. Louis and Jonathan Mook with DiMuroGinsberg in Alexandria, Virginia. Bob and Jonathan also made this presentation at AEIS in Nashville.
There is still no federal law making discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation unlawful. Congress has had a bill before it that would do this for a long time, but it’s never passed. Is it getting close to passage now? If passed, can it survive a presidential veto? Check out the latest from washingtonpost.com:
We’ve had our morning break, and now we’ve broken into four separate sessions from which attendees can choose.
Today, November 6, the U. S. Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Federal Express v. Holowecki.
As you know, in order to pursue a discrimination case in federal court,
an employee must file a charge of discrimination with the EEOC within a
certain period of time after the alleged discrimination occurs.
Age discrimination will be a subject that gets some well-deserved attention in upcoming posts on this blog. To get you in the mood, consider a very recent case involving a well-known company. If you want to get the actual case, you can probably Google it. For now, consider a recent article on the case in the California Employment Law Letter: