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Proving Discrimination in the Workplace

Proving Discrimination in the Workplace

"Although many women feel they have blossomed in middle or old age, there are some people in our society who believe that a woman's value declines as she ages. Some employers require women workers to meet youthfulness or physical attractiveness standards. If these requirements exclude women 40 or over or are not equally applied to men, they may be illegal" (Williams). Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, employers who have at least 20 workers are not allowed to: Recruit, or ask an employment agency to send, only younger applicants; withhold training opportunities from older workers; fire or force a worker to retire because they are older (some occupations are exempt); or allow younger workers benefits such as flex time that are not given to older workers.

If an employee believes they have been discriminated against on the job or while applying for a job on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability, they may file a charge of discrimination with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If the employee feels that they have been discriminated against due to age they must show that they are a member of a protected class, show adverse employment action, show that he or she was qualified for the position and show that there was dissimilar treatment (Bennett-Alexander 414).

In Parrish v. Immanuel Medical Center, Mary Parrish, "a 66-year old employee resigned after being summarily transferred to a new position and after her supervisor made age-based remarks. She sued for age discrimination" (418). Parrish is over 40, which satisfied the requirement that she is a member of a protected class. The adverse employment action, which lead Parrish to resign, was assigning her to a new position without giving her a choice. Her employer claimed that she was transferred because of her inefficiencies. Parrish was able to show that she was qualified for the position. She was capable of performing the required duties and had received above average ratings on her yearly performance evaluations. The jury found for Parrish. Immanuel Medical Center appealed and the judgment was upheld.

An employee can bring a claim of disparate treatment or disparate impact against an employer. A claim of disparate treatment by an employee would be a claim that the employee is treated differently than other employees because of her age. A claim of disparate impact would be a...

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Category:   Discrimination

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