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It serves no purpose: Keep references to employees’ ages out of official documents

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

There is rarely a reason to note an employee’s age on official company documents. There’s no reason to list birthdates, for example, on seniority lists when seniority is based on years of service.

Doing makes an age discrimination lawsuit more likely.

Recent case: When Robert was 64, he retired from his production job at Precision Kidd Steel. He had recently adopted a child and wanted to help the child adjust. Then Robert discovered that he missed work and asked to return to his old job.

Precision agreed to bring him back  as a temporary worker.

Robert claimed that he heard frequent ageist comments. He also observed that the company hired younger people for open permanent positions despite his request to be considered for a permanent job. He also noted that the posted seniority list included everyone’s birthdate.

Finally, when Robert was 69 years old, he was terminated, ostensibly because he didn’t want to join the union and because union workers had complained he was doing work reserved for union positions.

Robert sued, alleging age discrimination. He pointed to the younger hires, the apparent refusal to consider him for open permanent positions, the age-related comments and the publication of a seniority list that included birthdates. He said all that was evidence that age discrimination was why he had not been hired permanently and was later discharged.

The court agreed, saying there was enough evidence to warrant an age discrimination trial. (Marchionda v. Precision Kidd Steel, No. 2:15-323, WD PA, 2016)

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