Age Discrimination in the Workplace – How to Protect Your Business

September 30, 2011 by  Filed under: Management 

Discrimination is an ugly word most often associated with race, creed, religion, or color, but there is another form of discrimination that is far too common in the American workplace – age discrimination. If you’re on the far side of your forties or fifties, the likelihood of you getting that plum promotion or upwardly mobile job is unlikely. It’s sad, but true. We put our most talented people out to pasture on a regular basis, more often than not far before their time is done. You as an employer could be guilty of it too. How do you avoid it? It starts with a few simple steps.

The first step is to keep track of who you’re hiring. Though most age discrimination happens on the job, after an employee has been with you for a while, some of the more blatant cases occur in the application and interview process. Use applicant tracking software with OFCCP compliance features to keep track of your hiring practices. You may find that you’re inadvertently discriminating against older members of the potential employee pool that is seeking jobs with you. You might even find that you’re not hiring enough younger or entry level workers. This is discrimination too.

That same recruitment tracking software you use to keep track of compliance issues can also help you to place talented applicants into specific positions. Take a look at the makeup of your individual departments. You most likely have a few of them that could use new blood that’s fresh out of college and others that might benefit from the input of someone who has a few years experience. There are lots of extremely talented individuals looking for work right now after a recession that devastated many of the world’s most successful companies. Are you going to bypass them because of their age?

Avoiding age discrimination as a business owner is a simple matter of paying attention to your employees. Look around you as you walk the floor and you’ll see patterns that are easy to detect. Ask yourself a few questions as you tour your own facility. Is there anyone present who is over fifty years old? Is there anyone under twenty-five? Is your workforce diverse? You can find the racial make-up of your workforce by looking into your recruitment tracking system, but what do you see when you’re onsite? If you’re not seeing a mix of old and young from diverse races and ethnic backgrounds, you might just be a discriminating employer.

There’s never been a better time to find the best and brightest in your field. Unemployment is dropping, but is still over eight percent in most states. That’s a lot of potential talent that could be working for you, not your competitors. Open your eyes and don’t discount anyone because of their age. It’s all well and good to want to build your firm with young people, but those with a few years experience under their belt can offer you a whole lot more.

OFCCP Compliance

Article Source:
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