Gray Power: Consider abilities of workers to prevent discrimination issues

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Employers can best prevent age discrimination by developing explicit policies against age discrimination.

Employers should communicate that policy to their managers, human resource personnel or anyone else involved in decisions about employees&8217; work conditions.

Employers should schedule a regular review of policies that are age-biased or reflect negative stereotypes.

Examples for employers are:

-Train human resource personnel in interview techniques that elicit skills and other qualifications experienced workers bring to a job.

-Want ads and recruitment materials should not specify an age requirement.

-Applications should not ask for birthdates or even graduation dates.

-Create an advisory committee of older staff to assess

recruitment processes.

-Offer competitive salary, retirement and health care benefits.

-Create opportunities for flexible schedules.

-When offering personal development, ask for volunteers. Don&8217;t assume older workers lack motivation.

-Don&8217;t assume older workers plan to retire soon.

-When downsizing, don&8217;t assume you should start with higher-paid employees.

-Consider reasonable accommodations required under Americans with Disabilities Act.Dr. Marvin Copes is an Education/Community Service Volunteer for AARP