COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc across America. It has put millions in the hospital and caused the death of hundreds of thousands. It has also put pressure on workplaces like never before.
It is a well-known fact that older people are at a higher risk of suffering severe symptoms if they contract the virus. In line with this fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has encouraged employers to offer their older workers more flexibility in how and where they work.
At the same time, the EEOC has made clear that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act remains in effect, and that employers are prohibited from discriminating against individuals over the age of 40. Older workers cannot be involuntarily excluded from the workplace. Even if a company is trying to do the right thing by workers in a certain age group, they cannot do it in a way that prevents them from entering the building and facilities and doing what is required to perform their job duties. Employers can promulgate policy that gives all workers the option to work from home. However, they cannot require younger people to come into work and older people to stay at home.
Employers should also consider age discrimination laws when prioritizing the people who will receive vaccination. States have the power to determine the groups that are to receive priority in receiving the new vaccine. It is clear that older people will be put at the front of the line. It is therefore reasonable and legal for employers to follow this guideline and give priority to older workers. Companies will only fall into legal trouble if they mandate vaccines exclusively for older workers. As the vaccine becomes more available, employers should start drafting a vaccination policy so that people are clear on how it will work and can raise any issues that may exist.
Protecting Your Rights as an Older Worker
The Coronavirus has put many families under financial strain. The economic uncertainty that will linger long after the worst of the virus has passed makes it even more important for you to protect your job and position. If your employer has taken any action that may lead to termination, demotion, or discrimination, then you should hire a Los Angeles workplace lawyer and hold them accountable.
If you have to ask the question “do I need a lawyer for age discrimination in Los Angeles?”, then you probably do. The only way to conclusively answer the question is to consult with a Los Angeles workplace lawyer.
Your inquiry need not lead to a lawsuit and full-out court battle. It may be a matter of getting your employer to see how a policy they have developed is fundamentally discriminatory against older workers. If you tried to do this informally or through a grievance procedure and were rebuffed, bringing in age discrimination lawyers Los Angeles may advance your case. Age discrimination lawyers Los Angeles can articulate your concerns and point out how your rights have been violated.
If you believe your company’s COVID policy discriminates against older workers, age discrimination attorneys for the workplace can help you get justice. You should consult with age discrimination attorneys for the workplace to review your options.