Among the laws protecting workers from age discrimination in the workplace, the federal Age Discrimination and Employment Act (ADEA) specifically prohibits certain employers from discriminating against employees who are at least 40 years old with regard to age. The protection encompasses every phase of the employment relationship such as hiring, compensation, promotion and termination of employment.
Recently, four previous employees of Hewlett Packard sued the technology giant for age discrimination. They claim that they were fired unfairly as part of major restructuring of the company, which resulted in the the layoffs of thousands of existing employees – many of whom were older – and the hiring of a younger work force to take their place.
The complaint points to a 2013 Hewlett Packard human resource guideline requiring that 75% of the new hires be “straight out of school or early career applicants”, which allegedly resulted in HP hiring a disproportionately large number of new employees under the age of 40 to replace those aged 40 and older.
The plaintiffs who range in age from 52- to 63-years of age are seeking class action status to hold the technology company accountable for possible violations of state and federal age discrimination laws. In a statement, defendants Hewlett Packard Inc. (HPQ) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), said the workforce reductions were based on legitimate factors unrelated to age.
Older employees are particularly vulnerable in today’s workforce when it comes to acquiring employment, being treated fairly while employed and even keeping their existing jobs. Hoping to reduce medical insurance and salaries, companies may illegally pass on hiring older applicants or cut costs by eliminating seasoned employees at the top of their pay scale, who often have more insured dependents.
If you believe that you have been a victim of discrimination in the workplace based on age, sex, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, pregnancy, disability and other protected statuses, contact the employment law attorneys of McDonald, Woodward & Carlson PC for help today 563-355-6478.
Source: USA Today, “HP Hit With Age-Discrimination Lawsuit by Four Ex-Employees”, by Jon Swartz, August 25, 2016.