How Companies May Use Layoffs to Hide Age Discrimination

By | 2019-01-10T01:28:26+00:00 December 18th, 2018|Age Discrimination|0 Comments

What to do when reductions-in-force are questionable A round of layoffs hits your company, and your job is one of those to go. But when you look at the other workers who lost their jobs, you notice you all have one thing in common: you’re all over 40. It happens more often than you’d think. Age discrimination is illegal, but employers can and do sometimes use general layoffs to mask the large-scale firing of older employees and the hiring of younger workers. Here’s how they get away with it. Firing based on salary. Employers have to justify large-scale layoffs in a way that won’t lead to lawsuits, and one way to do that is by firing people based on what they earn: salary, benefits, bonuses, and commissions. This often has the practical effect of shedding large swaths of older, more experienced workers who’ve had time to earn higher salaries—leaving the employer free to hire cheaper, younger workers. This is functionally the same as age discrimination—even if it’s justified on paper. Replacing your job. Some companies will eliminate the jobs of older employees, then pull a sleight-of-hand—re-introducing the old job with a new title, and hiring a younger employee to fill [...]