Shock is usually an employer’s first reaction after an employee or job applicant has alleged age discrimination. Many business owners fail to realize how seriously these accusations can impact them.
So, when you know your actions against the worker were valid, how can you defend against discrimination allegations? Unfortunately, there is no superior defense for all situations. Instead, you will benefit most from a strategy crafted around the employee’s accusations.
The Bona Fide Occupational Qualification
Say that your construction company needs a laborer to run errands, lift, carry and generally help the crew. You interview several candidates, including a man with silver hair and lines on his face. You hire someone younger because you believe the older applicant cannot safely perform physical work.
If the older individual feels you did not hire them solely due to age, they may pursue an age discrimination claim. To prevail in a Bona Fide Occupational Qualification exception, you must prove you rejected the applicant because they were not qualified for the position.
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, as the government takes age discrimination seriously. You may face harsh penalties if the applicant prevails. Many employers must pay the other party financial restitution in the form of missed back pay and possibly lost future earnings.
Consider legal guidance
As you can see, there are very few ways to defend against an age discrimination claim. However, that does not mean you should give up and accept your fate. With legal guidance, you may avoid an unfavorable outcome. Professional aid also keeps your Mississippi business safe from future workplace discrimination allegations.