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Woman standing alone  The idea behind the ADEA is that employers cannot make assumptions about employees based on their advanced age, such as being less productive or less “innovative” due to age.  (Photo: Shutterstock)

As employers bring back their workforce to office environments, they would be wise to adhere to an axiom in employment law: Altruism often puts employers at risk for legal liability. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation’s preeminent authority on public health, has determined that certain categories of persons, including older persons, are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. More specifically, the CDC has determined that the older you are, the greater the COVID-19 risk is. But before well-meaning employers act to safeguard this demographic, they should understand their legal obligations under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and its state law equivalents.

Related: 55 percent of older workers are not in jobs that support remote work

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