Q. A worker in my department is in his 70s and starting to slow down. The job he performs is very physical and I’m afraid he’s going to get hurt. I’d like to get rid of him before he hurts himself or someone else. What should I do? — C.C., Ohio
A. Slow down. Take age out of the equation and treat the employee as you would anyone else. If he were in his 20s, how would you handle it? Unless his productivity is deteriorating or he is unable to complete the essential functions of his job, let him keep working.
If he’s having problems, document them and give him the opportunity to correct them. If he can’t, then you will have the documentation to back up a legitimate termination based on performance, not age.