South-Western - Management  
EEOC Finds Allstate Broke Age-bias Laws
Topic Managing Individuals
Key Words EEOC, age discrimination
News Story 

Allstate Corp. is attempting to streamline its business and cut costs by converting its career agents into independent contractors. The employees were told to choose between becoming independent contractors, without traditional benefits but with increased sales commission, or leaving the company. When many of these employees tried to apply for lower paying jobs in order to keep benefits, Allstate refused to take them on for at least a year, when their chance to extend the old benefits expired. More than 90 percent of the agents were over 40.

The EEOC determined that Allstate violated federal laws prohibiting age discrimination by not allowing the agents to preserve their benefits and giving the jobs they sought to younger recruits.

Allstate has been sued in federal court before over issues of age discrimination.

Questions
1.

Age is one measure of diversity in a company. How does Allstate's policy impact the diversity of its workforce?

2.

Visit AARP's site on age discrimination in the workplace at http://www.aarp.org/careers-tools/Articles/a2002-12-11-agediscrimination.html. Explain how the Age Discrimination in Employment Act helps protect older workers.

Source "EEOC Finds Allstate Broke Age-bias Laws," Chicago Tribune, August 27, 2003.
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