• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

Keep age out of mix when deciding who gets education benefits

by on
in Discrimination and Harassment,Firing,Hiring,Human Resources

Dan Esberg wanted to cash in on his company's educational assistance program. The company paid Esberg $16,000 for his bachelor's degree after he had turned 50. But when Esberg decided to go for an M.B.A., the company refused to foot the bill.

No official reason was given, but one supervisor told Esberg, "You're too old to invest in." The company did pay for three younger workers who were enrolled in masters' programs.

Illegal discrimination? Not under California law, the court said. The state law that bars discrimination in the terms and conditions of employment, in contrast to hiring and firing, doesn't include age as a protected characteristic. (Esberg v. Union Oil Co. of Calif., No. G022069, Calif. CA, 2001)

Advice: Ignore this decision. The company would have been clobbered in court if Esberg had brought his lawsuit under federal law instead of state law.

Why? The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) specifically bans age discrimination in the terms, conditions and privileges of employment, including educational benefits. Refusing to fund the education or training of older workers is based on a stereotype that they will retire at a certain age.

You can protect your education investments without discriminating. Example: You pay a partial tuition reimbursement upon course completion and pay the balance, or a bonus, after the employee has been with the company for, say, two years.

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/928/keep-age-out-of-mix-when-deciding-who-gets-education-benefits "

Leave a Comment