Jim Smith responded to an ad in the local paper stating, HELP WANTED-young man needed in lumber yard to load lumber and assist customers in their purchases. Much heavy lifting involved. Mr. Jones, the owner of the lumberyard, interviewed Mr. Smith. Smith had experience in the lumber business and Jones was impressed with his knowledge; however, was reluctant to hire him because of his age and physical condition. Mr. Jones placed the following comment on Smith’s application: “Is qualified, but appears to be out of the physical shape.” During the interview Mr. Jones explained he was looking for young men to fill the position and Smith’s age (forty-five) was a cause for concern. Jones also stated that if he got a haircut and improved his
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Jones clearly violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967. Although he offers Smith another job it is with lower pay. This also is in violation of the ADEA. According to the ADEA, no employer may “reduce the wage rate of any employee in order to comply with this chapter” the lower job offer is a clear violation. If we can’t offer a different position (unless unqualified) what is the remedy?
Mr. Jones should afford Jim Smith with the opportunity to work at the advertised position. Jim’s appearance does not necessarily mean he is unfit, nor does an individual's age. For instance, I am almost 40 and have friends and co-workers in the same age group and younger. During my years as a generator mechanic my co-worker, 50 years of age, and myself accomplished the largest and most strenuous workloads. Whereas those in their early to mid twenties needed numerous breaks and was unable to withstand the heat. Mr. Smith’s physical condition could be the result of the amount of time he has been out of work. Should Mr. Smith not be able to perform the work, I would offer him the customer service