The overall demographics of the nation’s workforce continues to age, with the number of workers aged 55 and over increasing, while at the same time the number of workers under the age of 25 is decreasing, according to the 2018 Current Population Survey. A recently released report by the National Association of Home Builders confirms that this trend is more acutely affecting the construction industry due to the fact its workforce is older than those in other industries. Workers under the age of 25 represent only 9% of the construction workforce in 2018, whereas workers age 55 and over increased from 17% in 2011 to a staggering 22% only seven years later in 2018.
With this aging workforce, member firms must keep in mind the application of: The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), as well as requirements imposed under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), [in addition to any similar state law].
The ADEA prohibits discrimination in the workplace of employees who are aged 40 or older; while The ADA prohibits discrimination in the workplace against qualified employees who have a physical or mental impairment. The ADA also require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to allow disabled employees to perform the essential functions of their job. Reasonable accommodations under the ADA may include reducing or having flexible hours or restructuring workload and job duties. Such accommodations can help encourage skilled and talented age-protected employees to remain with their employer longer.