Many baby boomers have been laid off at Hewlett Packard (HP) in what some have called a massive case of age discrimination at the company. HP recently cut thousands of jobs as part of its restricting process. Older employees suspect this was part of the company’s plan to move towards a younger workforce.
Four employees are pressing charges against the company, on the grounds that they were discriminated against based on their age.
According to the lawsuit, HP has an internal policy that says 75 percent of all new hires have to be new graduates. This policy defines new graduates as applicants who have graduated from a university program within the past year. Some are saying this is a case of age discrimination; others rebuttal that younger workers simply have the current skills the company needs.
Does technology have an issue with age discrimination?This is a common complaint in the high-tech industry. Google also recently faced a case of age discrimination, after job candidates accused the company of rejecting their applications on the basis of age. Tech giants often claim that the high number of young workers isn’t a sign of age discrimination, but rather a necessary search for applicants with the most current skillset. Many employees see these assumptions about age and competency as just another form of workplace discrimination.
The law can protect against age discriminationAge discrimination laws specifically protect employees over 40 for being fired or denied opportunities because of their age. Often employers will intentionally target and lay off older employees in large numbers in order to replace them with employees who are younger and often lower-paid.
The law prohibits employers from doing this, and also from denying opportunities because of age. Sometimes older employees will be overlooked, despite having all of the proper skills and qualifications. If you believe this has happened to you, you should seek the counsel of an attorney.
Dan A. Atkerson is a Dallas employment attorney who fights to empower victims of age discrimination and other forms of workplace injustice.