- Haynes International Inc. has agreed to pay $180,000 to settle an investigation by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission into its hiring practices for job candidates more than 40 years old. The company has denied any wrongdoing.
- EEOC "found reasonable cause" to believe that the Indiana-based metal alloy manufacturer had violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) by refusing to hire applicants as general assistant operators in mid-2017 and 2018 because of their age.
- The metals company also agreed to provide additional training on the ADEA to the Kokomo, Indiana, employees responsible for recruitment, screening and hiring for the job.
The ADEA forbids discrimination on the basis of age against employees and applicants who are 40 years old or older. The Commission takes the position that "excluding older applicants from employment or from certain positions because of their age violates the ADEA," EEOC said in the Haynes statement.
Earlier this year, an AARP investigation found that ageism at work is widespread. Capitol Hill lawmakers have shown an interest in the matter. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting Older Workers Against Age Discrimination Act in January 2020. The bill rejects a ruling made by the U.S. Supreme Court several years ago that made it more difficult for plaintiffs to prove workplace age discrimination.
Employers can take steps to avoid ageism in hiring, experts say. For example, phrases like "digital native" should not be used in job listings and advertisements for job openings should not be limited to college campuses and social media, sources have said. HR can support diversity by developing and implementing policies that support inclusion.
In addition, managers and front-line supervisors should be provided with regular training on how to comply with the federal, state and local laws aimed at preventing bias, harassment and retaliation because they are a leading cause of such claims being filed, according to experts.