As life expectancies increase, many members of the baby boomer generation and younger say that they plan to work well into their 60s or 70s.
It is illegal for employers to discriminate against employees due to age, yet it seems to happen every day.
Today we Michiganders live in a world where women are equally involved in professions that were traditionally thought to be male dominated. Though more and more women have joined the workforce in Detroit, they still earn significantly less than their male counterparts. This disparity is more pronounced for women who are disabled or belong to an ethnic minority.
According to the Equal Pay Act, all employers must pay similar wages to both men and women who perform similar tasks at the workplace. Equal pay, in this context, refers to all wages and benefits including salary, overtime, bonus, insurance, stock options and other entitlements.
Detroit, Michigan, employees want to be treated equally in the workplace. However, unfair work situations do exist. Sometimes, this workplace discrimination may not be outwardly noticeable, but the person suffers unequal treatment nonetheless. Discrimination takes many forms, but it can affect wages, promotion and, in some cases, employment. Various Michigan and federal laws make discrimination illegal. One such law is the Equal Pay Act.
The United States of America is a country that provides equal opportunity for employment. Workplace discrimination is an issue with social, legal and economic repercussions. Michigan law has zero tolerance for workplace discrimination. Even so, a Detroit worker may experience discrimination based on age, gender, sexual orientation, race and other attributes.
In an action that Muslim workers in Detroit might find relevant, a group of Somali Muslim DHL Global Mail employees are claiming religious discrimination because the delivery company reversed its policy of flexible break times, which initially allowed them to stop work for the five-minute prayers required by their religion. The Islamic employees accused DHL of worker discrimination after the company fired two dozen of them, allegedly for pausing in their duties to say the prayers, which had previously been allowed. One fired employee made $11.57 per hour to sort mail and said that he had never received any negative comments about his work.
A Michigan school district is facing a workplace discrimination lawsuit filed by its former business manager. In a case filed in the civil division of Berrien County Trial Court, the man claims wrongful termination on the basis of age. He says he was dismissed from employment so that the school district could avoid paying his pension and health benefits. The school district denies the allegations.
As any Detroit viewer knows, the shows on MTV are hardly politically correct. Now, according to a new lawsuit, the working environment at MTV's corporate offices is not, either.
In our society, ageism is unlawful. An employer in Detroit, for example, could not look at an applicant's gray hair, think he is too old and refuse to hire him on that basis. Nor could he fire an employee simply for being too old; that would be age-based discrimination. Then again, it is just a fact that some tasks cannot be performed by people who are too young or too old. The demands of the job would mean it would be unwise to have a 90-year-old on active firefighting duty, for example.