Age Discrimination In The Workplace

The age of retirement continues to be pushed back further and further, which means that the total number of years individuals need to work in order to qualify for benefits also becomes longer and longer. In spite of all the experience that is developed over decades of hard work, opportunities are often passed on in favor of younger generations for a variety of reasons. Many of which are completely invalid and discriminatory. The first step to ending workplace age discrimination is to understand your rights. 


What Does Age Discrimination Look Like?

Age discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee or job applicant unfairly because of their age. Examples of this include situations where a company will selectively lay off older employees, age-based harassment or bullying, or force an employee to retire. Other examples are sometimes less obvious. Unless you’re following a series of systematic discriminatory behavior, it may be easy to miss things like denying someone a promotion, reducing responsibilities, refusing to accommodate additional training, and exclusively hiring young people. This kind of discrimination makes it harder to plan for the future and maintain a positive outlook, but there are still ways to enforce equal treatment in the workplace.


The Age Discrimination in Employment Act

Age discrimination is illegal under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which prohibits employment discrimination against individuals 40 years of age or older. This means that all of the discriminatory practices previously mentioned are illegal. If you are a victim of these practices, you may be entitled to compensation.


Actions You Can Take

Much like sexual harassment in the workplace, employees who believe they have been the victim of age discrimination can file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC investigates claims of discrimination and may file a lawsuit on behalf of the employee if it determines that discrimination has occurred. Additionally, employees may choose to file a lawsuit against their employer for age discrimination.


Whatever route you take to find justice, there are important steps to take in order to build a strong case. First and foremost, acquire as much documentation as possible. For example, if a superior rejects your request for training or additional accommodations, request to have the denial in writing, or send a follow-up email that outlines the discussion. Save copies of everything. You can also maintain records of all memos, performance evaluations, or witness testimony to supplement your claims.

The ADEA was created to protect the aging workforce and push employers to take preventative action against age discrimination and ensure that all employees are treated fairly. If you believe you are a victim of age discrimination and want to pursue legal action, contact the firm of Carla D. Aikens, P.L.C. for a free consultation by calling (844) 835-2993.

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