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Restructuring can be a thinly veiled form of age discrimination

Times change, and so do the demands a company faces. Whether internal practices have shifted or a company has merged with another business, restructuring is a way to address inefficiency and problems within a company. It can help a company assess its current practices and find better ways to do business.

Done properly, restructuring benefits everyone, from the staff to the employer. Unfortunately, many businesses use restructuring as a means of getting rid of older employees and bringing in new staff. This may be nothing more than a thinly veiled form of age discrimination.

If you are over the age of 40 and recently lost your job as part of a restructuring effort at your company, you may be the victim of age discrimination. There are certain questions you should ask yourself.

Is there anything consistent about who the company let go?

When trying to determine if discrimination played a role in restructuring efforts at your company, one of the first things you should look at is the shared traits among those who did not retain their jobs. Companies should get rid of whole departments or the employees with the lowest overall performance, not a specific group of employees.

If many of the people let go during restructuring have been with the company for a long time or are visibly over the age of 40, the company could be engaging in a systemic form of age discrimination.

Pay close attention to where the work shifts as well. If new hires seem to be much younger than the staff that were let go, that could also be a red flag for age discrimination playing a role.

Was your employer focusing on technology but not offering training?

If you have been with the same company for years, you understand how they work and have the skills to manage the requirements of the job. As the company becomes more technologically reliant, as most businesses are these days, they may start focusing more on your ability to handle technology in performance reviews.

They may also start shifting the obligations of your position without providing you any training for the new skills they want you to have. The practice of using technology to push older workers out of their jobs is problematic. Only hiring young people who fully understand technology for positions is absolutely a form of discrimination.

Older workers should have the ability to train and necessary software and programs before employers replace them with younger staff. No one deserves to lose a job just because they have reached a certain age. If you believe that age discrimination has played a role in your recent termination or layoff, it may be time to discuss the situation with an experienced Florida employment law attorney.

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