Age discrimination isn’t allowed in the workplace due to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which is a federal law. The law applies to people over 40 years old. For anyone who thinks they are the victim of age discrimination, learning about the applicable laws is important. There are some specific points that can significantly impact these cases.
Age discrimination laws don’t apply to people who are in the military, elected officials or independent contractors. In order for the anti-age discrimination laws to apply, the employer must meet one of the following:
- Labor organizations that have at least 25 members
- Local, federal or state governments
- Employment agencies
- Employers who employ at least 20 people
There is a chance that other state laws might apply to these cases, so you should find out if there are any specific to your case. In some instances, state laws are stricter than federal law.
Types of employment actions covered
Age can’t be a factor in any aspect of employment. It can’t affect the decision about whether to hire an applicant. Promotions, demotions, benefits, termination, performance reviews and anything else considered a condition of employment can’t consider age. Employers are also forbidden from retaliating against employees who speak out against age discrimination.
Sometimes, these actions are subtle. For example, putting a limit on the number of years of experience a person has might not seem like a big deal, but it can signal age discrimination since younger people aren’t likely to meet these limits. Anyone who thinks that they’ve been the victim of discrimination should have their case evaluated.
Problems that come with age discrimination
It is sometimes difficult to prove age discrimination, but looking into the facts should help. Employers may be willing to handle things without having to take the case to court. If so, make sure that you are protecting your own interests because they are going to be looking out for theirs. Highlight any financial and emotional damage you’ve suffered due to the discrimination. Don’t let yourself be bullied without the protections of the legal process. An employer who gets away with discrimination may be cunning and looking to triumph again outside the bounds of court-imposed legal accountability.