Know your business law: ANTI-AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT LAW

anti age discrimination

Republic Act 10911 or “An act prohibiting discrimination against any individual in employment on account of age and providing penalties therefore” prohibits employers from withholding promotion or deny training opportunities, compensation and privileges from employees on the basis of age.

Recruitment and employment agencies are also prohibited from refusing to help individuals regardless of age from seeking employment and labor organizations are prohibited to refuse employees of membership because of their age.

Under the measure, employers are prohibited from publishing or posting job advertisements indicating age preferences for applicants.

Employers are also banned from requiring applicants to declare their age or birth date during the application process, declining any employment application on the basis of the person’s age.  It also prohibits discriminating against an individual in terms of compensation, terms and conditions, or privileges of employment on account of individual’s age.

Under the legislation, it is unlawful for an employer to deny any employee’s promotion or opportunity for training because of age, forcibly lay them off on the basis of old age, or impose early retirement on the basis of employee’s  or worker’s age.

However, the measure permits employers to set age limit the age for employment under certain conditions, i.e. if age is a validnoccupational qualification reasonably necessary in the normal operation of a particular business, or where the differentiation is based on reasonable factors other than age.

Employers are also granted the leeway to set age limits if the intent is to observe the terms of a seniority system in place, provided that such is not intended to evade the purpose of the proposed law.

The setting of age limits is also allowed if the intent is to observe the terms of a bona fide employee retirement or a voluntary early retirement plan consistent with the purpose of the measure, provided that it is in accordance with the Labor Code, as amended, and other related laws.

Employers are exempted from the prohibitions stated in the bill if their action is duly certified by the Labor Secretary, in accordance with the proposed law.

The measure covers all employers, labor contractors, sub-contractors and labor organizations, the government and all its branches, subdivisions and instrumentalities, all government-owned and controlled corporations, and government financial institutions, as well as non-profit private institutions or  organizations.

Violators shall be punished with P50,000 to P500,000 or imprisoned for three months to two years or both, at the discretion of the court.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall have the authority to investigate and require the keeping of records necessary for the administration of the proposed law.

The law took effect on August 16, 2016.

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