Louisiana employers are always concerned that they will be confronted with allegations of violations of employment regulations. One common problem is when there is an assertion that discrimination played a role in an employee being dismissed or a prospective employee not being hired at all. This can cover a wide range or situations. One in which employers are simultaneously vulnerable and protected is in allegations of age discrimination. Understanding the law with age discrimination and when there are exceptions to it is a vital part of being able to protect from lawsuits.

By law, employers are not allowed to do any of the following regarding a person’s age: fail to hire or refuse to hire the person; discharge the person or take part in any form of discrimination due to age; classify, limit or segregate employees that would remove opportunities for advancement or negatively affect the status due to age; and lower wages because of age. Employers are also not allowed to discriminate based on age when hiring or referring for employment.

Employers should be aware that there are circumstances in which it is lawful to judge a worker based on age. If the person’s age is a legitimate factor in being able to do the job based on the normal operation of the business or if there are reasonable factors other than age, it is not against the law for an employer to choose not to hire or dismiss a worker. Employers retain the right to discharge or discipline an employee for good cause, regardless of age.

Being accused of dismissing or failing to hire a worker because of any specific issue can be a major problem for an employer. Not only will it likely lead to a lawsuit, but it can result in a poor reputation with the public. For those accused of violating employment law via age discrimination, it is imperative to have legal assistance to defend against these charges. A law firm that specializes in helping businesses protect themselves with employer liability defense and other areas of employment law can be of assistance.

Source: legis.la.gov, “312. Prohibition of age discrimination; exceptions,” accessed on April 10, 2018