If you are 40 years of age or older, you may be at a higher risk of being targeted by employers because of your age. Younger talent in the workplace is increasingly thriving in a multitude of environments, and employers are always seeking out alternative methods for cheaper labor. Younger workers can appear to be a favorable substitute for someone nearing retirement age, but federal law prohibits most employers from age discrimination, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) serves to protect employees 40 and older from different degrees of age-based prejudice.
It is unlawful to discriminate against an applicant or employee in any aspect of employment, which includes hiring, firing, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. (EEOC.gov)
Harassing a person due to their age is illegal and can include:
➊ Forcing an employee to retire
➋ Making offensive remarks related to age
➌ Isolating or segregating workers because of their age
➍ Restricting work duties
➎ Denying a promotion
➏ Displaying a pattern of hiring and or favoring only younger workers
➐ Requiring employees to work with certain groups or customers due to their age.
A policy or practice created by an employer applicable to everyone, regardless of age, can be unlawful if it has negative impacts on employees or applicants over the age of 40 and is not based on a reasonable factor other than age.
The major components of the ADEA include the following:
🅐 Employers are prohibited from discriminating based on age at any stage of the employment process against anyone 40 years of age or older.
🅑 It is unlawful for employers to discriminate based on age in advertisements for available positions, the application process, or interviews. Ads may include age limitations only if age is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) based on business necessity.
🅒 Employers are forbidden from discriminating against older workers when reducing the size of their staff.
🅓 Employers may not force their employees to take early retirement, but they may offer early retirement incentive packages.
🅔 Workers who act under the ADEA cannot be retaliated against for filing, testifying about, or participating in a claim against an employer.
🅕 Under the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA), an amendment to the ADEA, an employer typically may not reduce or deny benefits for older employees. In certain situations, however, benefits for older workers may be reduced if the reduction renders the cost of benefits for older workers equal to the cost of benefits for younger workers.
An employee who is a victim of age discrimination has 180 days to file a charge with the EEOC, which may be extended by state laws. Federal employees have 45 days to contact an EEO counselor.
To qualify for an age discrimination claim, an employee must work or have worked for an employer with 20 or more employees.
The above is intended as a general guide to better understand potential claims against employers with respect to age discrimination. Your claims may be time sensitive and we encourage you to complete our free case evaluation request to increase the chance of meeting deadlines for filing your claim. Employment attorneys at Spielberger Law Group are passionate about employment law and are true advocates of employees whose rights have been violated.
Once you’ve completed our free case evaluation form, an employment lawyer licensed to practice employment law in your state will review your statements and you will be contacted by our firm after determining whether you have claims to pursue. Do not miss your opportunity to bring justice to your workplace, contact us today for the chance to receive the best recovery possible.