Learning Not Litigating: Managing Employee Development and Avoiding Claims of Age Discrimination

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Todd J. Maurer and Nancy E. Rafuse
Todd J. Maurer and Nancy E. Rafuse

MGMT 412
April 11th, 2013

MGMT 412
April 11th, 2013

Learning, not litigating:
Managing employee development and avoiding claims of age discrimination Learning, not litigating:
Managing employee development and avoiding claims of age discrimination

Key Learning Objectives:
* Promote the importance of continuous learning.

* Denying and discouraging older workers is discriminatory and could warrant legal consequences.

* Implementing human resource policies based on job related criteria will mitigate possible litigation.

Introduction:
With the average age of working employees increasing, the amount of people covered under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) has also grown. With the rise in workers over the age of 40, there has been some indiscretion in regards to the training or lack of training made available to this group. This paper gives an in depth analysis of the findings of Todd J. Maurer and Nancy E. Rafuse in their article Learning, not litigating: Managing employee development and avoiding claims of age discrimination. The article addresses ways to avoid lack of training by creating an environment conducive to continuous learning which promotes employee growth and add value to the employer.

The ways older workers have been denied and discouraged from training is explained as well as how the legal ramifications of these actions could hurt an organization. Because of the potential prevalence of age related discrimination, the definitions of terms, conditions and privileges of employment have been defined and may become increasingly actionable. Maurer and Rafuse detail how age discrimination can be avoided in training and development practices. Bringing change and evolution to and organization’s training practices through the use of top-down management training in an attempt to change culture and policies, decisions about who is trained, the supervision of development and bringing awareness to the potential effects of stereotypes. Topic Discussion:

Training and Development Opportunities Are Increasingly Important to Today's Workers
Training and developmental activities are of paramount importance when it comes to keeping a company’s workforce competent. For this reason it is important to not only implement training but to also vary the training exercised as there are many forms and people learn in different ways. A few examples listed by Maurer and Rafuse include (but are not limited to) correspondence courses, independent reading, viewing videotapes, technology-based training, job rotation, special committees, and coaching (Maurer & Rafuse, 111). Training becomes important to the older workforce as technological advances occur as well as other innovations alter the way that businesses operate. Because of the ever-changing workplace it is necessary for employees to receive training so that they may adapt and thrive in their working environments.

It is not a lack of ability or ignorance to change that is hurting the aging population, it is a lack of employer-provided training that can prevent the growth and progression of an employee. This is why continuous learning has become a prominent factor in the careers of older workers. As business practices change the way an organization operates, the organization needs to increase the amount of training offered to its employees. If there is innovation in business practices then there needs to be innovation in training. In the text Employee Training and Development, Raymond A. Noe discusses Nokia and its definition of continuous learning and how it means that employers support employees’ growth by providing them with the opportunity to develop themselves and to stay technologically current (Noe, 53). This type of environment, especially in a telecommunications company, is important to not only employee growth but also to company growth as the...
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