As people get older, they are more susceptible to mistreatment in the workplace. Some employers value the fresh ideas and energy that young people bring to the workforce while devaluing the years of expertise and wisdom that older workers offer to companies. This can lead to age discrimination. In a recent situation, a Texas company must confront claims that it discriminated against older employees.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently filed a lawsuit against Mattress, claiming that the company discriminated against workers who were older. The suit came after attempts to mediate the case were unsuccessful. Complaints initially were filed in 2007 after the company had bought out Bedtime Mattress, which mainly had older employees.
In just five months' time, several of these workers had been fired, and less than 25 percent of the remaining employees were above the age of 40. The plaintiffs say that management attempted to rid the company of these workers as well. In addition, the complainants asserted that the company began to hire younger workers and pay them both commission and salary, while the older workers still only received commission and were forced to complete difficult physical duties.
Employers cannot treat one employee differently from another on the basis of his or her age. This is a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Workers who are demoted or terminated for being older, for example, reserve the right to file age discrimination claims against companies that elect to engage in this type of behavior. Understanding what factors need to be established as true in such a case in Texas may help an employee to prevail in the end.
Source: Business Management, EEOC: Employer made biased bed, may have to lie in it, No author, Dec. 17, 2013