If you are planning a layoff within a small group of employees, the fact that one of the employees about to lose her job is the oldest of the group won’t be the basis for a successful age discrimination claim.
It takes more evidence that age was a motivating factor for the employee to win an age discrimination case. That’s because she can’t use statistics to prove the disparate impact on older workers in such a small group. Such numbers are only reliable if the sample group is large enough to meet statistical standards. A large enough group is typically made up of 15 or more employees.
Recent case: Harriet Schoonmaker was one of five employees working on the third shift at a bindery. She was the oldest worker on that shift.
When the company decided to downsize its workforce, it concluded that the third shift was the least productive. It cut two employees from that shift, one of whom was Schoonmaker.
She sued, alleging age discrimination.
The bindery argued that just because it kept younger employees didn’t prove it laid off Schoonmaker because of her age.
The court agreed and dismissed the case. It noted that with such a small group, the fact that Schoonmaker was the oldest employee didn’t offer statistical proof that her age was the reason. She couldn’t offer any other direct evidence of discrimination. (Schoonmaker v. Spartan Graphics, No. 09-1732, 6th Cir., 2010)
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/11286/small-group-layoff-no-need-to-keep-employee-just-because-shes-the-oldest "
- At Novartis, nursery rhymes are in, motherhood out
- Accommodate religious requests; don't debate 'sincerity'
- I was harassed and I quit! Now can I sue—Or get unemployment?
- When EEOC is involved, prepare to give up cash, much more
- Changing compensation systems? Here's how to avoid age discrimination claims