I read about a new angle companies are using to lay off older workers (thus reducing both high wages and pesky medical expenses).
In a letter in the September, 2008 issue of the AARP Bulletin a woman wrote that her company eliminated her department, which just happened to consist entirely of women age 55 and older. I can image the company lawyer in court. “It wasn’t age discrimination, your honor, it was restructuring.”
This should give companies many new ideas for getting rid of older workers, such as one of the following.
- Provide the older workers with straight back wooden chairs with narrow seats that will cut off the circulation to their thighs. Tell them that you switched to wooden chairs because “using wood is good for the environment.” When their thighs and backs cry out in pain, tell them “environmental policy prevents us from changing the chairs.” Eventually, the older workers will be in so much pain they’ll quit.
- Provide the older workers with smaller computer monitors – say about 10 inches – so they have to squint to read the screen. Make sure their printers only print in 8-point type. This should slow down their productivity enough so you can fire them for “not being able to handle the work load.”
- Assign older workers to departments on higher floors and make sure elevators are “out of order” during the day. Put the cafeteria on the bottom floor. Making the older workers climb up and down the stairs every day should net you a heart attack every week or so.
- When it’s below 32 degrees, spray water on the building entrance, thereby creating slippery ice. Notify the younger workers that they should enter through the side entrance. Let the older workers take their chances. If they break a leg, send them to the hospital. Then fire them for “not showing up for work.”
These are mere thought starters. Surely, the captains of industry can come up with other clever ways to dump those older workers and replace them with younger, minimum wage workers.