ADA & ADEA Implications for Mgmt Functions

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Previous Tips discussed hiring practices as well as discrimination based upon race/ethnicity. Title IX of the Civil Rights Act describes other protected classes and makes illegal, discrimination on the basis of age and with regard to disabilities, as well.

Bjelland et al reviewed age and disability employment discrimination cases using a national employment database.(1) They described common negative stereotypes about older workers such as: they do not perform as well, are less trainable, more resistant to change, less economically beneficial, more costly, and a poorer return on investment as compared with younger workers. Even while there is a body of literature to refute these stereotypes, those stereotypes do persist and can impact workplace dynamics. Similarly, there are stereotypes against the disabled at work, such as: they are less skilled, require more supervision, increase the company's health care costs, and have low levels of emotional adjustment. The investigators in examining employment discrimination claims that originate from older or disabled workers found many of them to involve reasonable accommodation, retaliation, and termination. Termination filings by employees citing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) were most prevalent, but terms/conditions for employment and hiring were also problematic. The disabilities for which employees filed the most claims were orthopedic, followed by cardiovascular, diabetes, and depression. In a separate study, McMahon et al found that hiring discrimination complaints were filed by complainants most frequently based upon back problems, hearing, vision, and depression.(2) Finally, in a third study, McMahon et al identified employers most likely to have ADA hiring claims filed against them, and these included smaller companies with 15-100 employees, in the West U.S. Census region, and industries related to: education, public administration, professional, scientific, and professional services.(3)

Pharmacy managers, like all managers, must have policies and procedures in place to minimize discrimination against aged and disabled employees, particularly in their hiring practices, and be mindful of many myths and stereotypes involving these persons. Smaller organizations like community pharmacies without more robust procedures could be especially prone to litigation.

Additional information about Human Resource Management Functions and Compliance with Regulations and Regulatory Bodies can be found in Pharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 5e. If you or your institution subscribes to AccessPharmacy, use or create your MyAccess Profile to sign-in toPharmacy Management: Essentials for All Practice Settings, 5e. If your institution does not provide access, ask your medical librarian about subscribing.

1Bjelland MJ, Bruyere SM, von Schrader SV, et al. Age and disability employment discrimination: Occupational rehabilitation implications. J Occup Rehabil. 2010;20:456-471.

2McMahon BT, Roessler R, Rumrill Jr PD, et al. Hiring discrimination against people with disabilities under the ADA: Characteristics of charging parties. J Occup Rehabil;2008:18:122-132.

2McMahon BT, Roessler R, Rumrill Jr PD, et al. Hiring discrimination against people with disabilities under the ADA: Characteristics of employers. J Occup Rehabil;2008:18:112-121.

Shane Desselle

Professor of Social and Behavioral Pharmacy, Touro University California


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Shane Desselle 4 months ago

What sort of impact can failure to pursue these policies have on the pharmacy business?