It is undeniable that the American workforce is getting older or, shall we say, more mature. In The Aging U.S. Workforce, the Stanford Center on Longevity estimates that by 2020, workers 55 and older will make up a quarter of the U.S. labor force, up from 13% in 2000. As the Baby Boomer generation hits retirement age, employers face a host of legal issues. Some landmines are rather obvious. For example, employers cannot terminate an employee simply because of her age.
Other issues are more nuanced. What if an employee is performing poorly because of age-related reasons? Can an employer terminate an older employee whose benefits are expensive? This article provides guidance on some of the issues employers with an aging workforce face.