Two developments in age discrimination law have gotten our week started on this Monday.
First development: can an employer be liable for age discrimination in a hiring situation made on the employer's behalf by an independent contractor? Yes, according to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The case is Halpert v. Manhattan Apartments, Inc.
"If a company gives an individual authority to interview job applicants and make hiring decisions on the company's behalf, then the company may be held liable if that individual improperly discriminates against applicants on the basis of age. "
That seems logical enough. Just be mindful of the fact that the person doing the hiring does not need to be a general agent for the employer. A limited agency that authorizes nothing more than a hiring function can still impose liability for discrimination on the employer.
Second development: Allstate has settled an age discrimination class action for $4.5 million. Again demonstrating that discriminatory behavior can be very costly to employers.