The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) issued Department Order (DO) No. 170, Series of 2017, promulgating the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act (RA) No. 10911, otherwise known as the “Anti-Age Discrimination in Employment Act”. The law seeks to promote equality in the workplace by mandating companies to hire workers based on their competence, and not on their age. The IRR apply to all employers, publishers, labor contractors or subcontractors, and labor organizations, whether or not registered.
A. It shall be unlawful for an employer to:
1. Publish job advertisements, in any form of media, which indicate or suggest preferences, limitations, specifications and discrimination based on age;
2. Require job applicants to declare their ages during the hiring process;
3. Decline an applicant based on age;
4. Provide less compensation and benefits based on age;
5. Deny promotions or training opportunities based on age;
6. Forcibly dismiss employees because of old age; or
7. Impose early retirement.
B. It shall be unlawful for a labor contractor or subcontractor to refuse to refer for employment or discriminate against any individual based on age.
C. It shall be unlawful for a labor organization to:
1. Deny membership on account of age;
2. Exclude from its membership because of the individual’s age; or
3. Cause or attempt to cause an employer to discriminate against an individual based on age.
D. It shall also be unlawful for a publisher to print or publish any notice of advertisement relating to employment suggesting preferences, limitations, specifications, and discrimination based on age.
It shall be lawful for an employer to set age limitations in employment if:
1. Age is a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary in the normal operation of a particular business or where the differentiation is based on reasonable factors;
Based on jurisprudence, the employer must prove two factors:
i. that the employment qualification is reasonably related to the essential operation of the job involved; and
ii. there is a factual basis for believing that all or substantially all persons meeting the qualification would be unable to properly perform the duties of the job.
2. The intent to observe the terms of bona fide seniority system that is not intended to evade the purpose of Rules;
3. The intent is to observe the terms of a bona fide employee retirement or a voluntary early retirement plan; or
4. The action is duly certified by the Secretary of Labor and Employment after consultation with the stakeholders.
For purposes of the exceptions, an employer who invokes the qualifications, shall submit a report prior to its implementation to the DOLE Regional Office which has jurisdiction over the workplace.
Any violation of RA No. 10911 shall be punished with a fine of not less than P50,000.00 but not more than P500,000.00, or imprisonment of not less than 3 months but not more than 2 years, or both, at the discretion of the court. If the offense is committed by a corporation, trust, firm partnership or association, the penalty shall be imposed upon the guilty officer or officers.