The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants who are age 40 and over. For example, employers cannot fire an employee simply because he is over the age of 40. Allegations of age discrimination peaked during the recession, reaching over 24,000 in 2008. Although the number of age-related complaints have slightly declined since then, age discrimination is still a problem that needs to be addressed. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the ADEA, learn about age discrimination so you know how to protect your rights in the workplace.
Who is Covered?
Private employers with at least 20 employees, state, local, and federal government agencies, labor organizations, and employment agencies must all comply with the ADEA.
Age Discrimination in the Workplace
Employers cannot make any job-related decisions, including who to hire, fire, promote, reassign, or lay off, based on someone’s age. It’s also illegal to harass an employee or allow someone else to harass an employee because of his age.
One common form of age discrimination involves employee benefits. Many employees are told that they do not qualify for benefits through their employer because of their age. Employers cannot deny an employee access to benefits based only on the employee’s age, so this is a form of illegal age discrimination.
It’s important to note that the ADEA does not protect workers are who are under the age of 40. In fact, the ADEA allows employers to make decisions based on age if the decision benefits older workers. This is true even if the decision negatively affects a worker who is under the age of 40.
What to Do if You’re a Victim of Age Discrimination
In 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) reported that they received 20,857 age discrimination complaints, which was slightly higher than the total number of complaints in 2015. Based on this information, it’s clear that age discrimination is still a problem.
If you have been discriminated against because of your age, it’s important to seek legal representation. An attorney can review your case to determine if you should take legal action against your employer. If an attorney believes you have a solid case, he can help you understand your rights and guide you through the process of filing a claim with the EEOC.
Older workers should never have to worry about being treated unfairly simply because of their age. If you have been discriminated because of your age, let our attorneys seek justice on your behalf. Call Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at 918-582-2500, or toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with our team today.