Former agents of a large insurance company that provides coverage in Texas and around the country are suing their former employer for age discrimination. The lawsuit claims that the insurance company fired the workers due to their age in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. It also claims that the workers were wrongly classified as independent contractors because the insurance agency controlled nearly all of their job duties directly.
According to representatives from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, age discrimination is an open and common practice in workplaces throughout the country. Due to this problem, the agency announced it would concentrate more on the issue. Some companies use passive aggressive tactics, like reassigning clients, to get rid of older employees while others take a more direct approach through terminations.
Even in a strong economy, older workers can find it harder to find employment than their younger counterparts. Employers often use language like 'fast-paced" and 'energetic" to signal their desire to hire younger workers over older ones. Companies are advised to treat older workers, once hired, in similar ways they treat employees protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Victims of age discrimination in the workplace may be able to get compensation for their financial losses. An advisable first step could be to meet with an employment law attorney who has experience with these types of matters. If the issue can't be resolved through internal channels, it might be necessary to file a complaint with the EEOC.
Source: HR Dive, "Former agents sue Farmers Insurance for age discrimination", Lisa Burden, Jan. 16, 2019