Monday, November 22, 2010

EEOC poised to explore plight of older workers in current economy

Last Wednesday, the EEOC heard testimony that age discrimination is causing older workers to have a difficult time maintaining and finding new employment. The EEOC believes that the current economic climate is exacerbating this problem. At a minimum, it is increasing the number of employees who claim to be victims of age discrimination. Last year, the EEOC received 22,778 charges of age discrimination, which represented 24.4% of all charges filed, up from 16,548 charges and 21.8% in 2006.

The EEOC heard the following testimony:

EEOC Commissioner Stuart J. Ishimaru said, “The treatment of older workers is a matter of grave concern for the Commission. We must be vigilant that employers do not use the current economy as an excuse for discrimination against older workers.” Going forward, it is clear that the EEOC will target age discrimination as an enforcement priority. Any company that is either reducing ranks via layoffs, or hiring to re-staff as the economy rebounds, should pay extra attention to age discrimination issues in light of this administrative enforcement.

Presented by Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, with offices in Cleveland and Columbus. For more information, contact Jon Hyman, a partner in our Labor & Employment group, at (216) 736-7226 or