Age discrimination in the workplace occurs more than many of us realize, but it should not be tolerated. More and more employees are working years past their retirement age due to financial strains or insufficient retirement savings. If you or a loved one has been discriminated against based upon your age, contact one of our knowledgeable employment attorneys for the advice and guidance you need.
Understanding Age Discrimination
Employees over the age of 40, employed by private employers with a minimum of 20 employees, are prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 are protected from workplace discrimination based solely on age.
Age discrimination can occur against the young or the old. It occurs anytime an employee is thought less of or treated differently solely because of their age. When the employee is viewed as “too old” or “too young,” and therefore treated differently from other coworkers, it is likely discrimination.
Identifying Discrimination Based on Age
No two cases of discrimination are identical. It may even occur without the supervisor realizing that he or she is discriminating against the employee. A few examples of age discrimination include:
► Reduction in responsibilities. When an employee performs his job duties with no issues, and suddenly his supervisor reduces those duties without a valid reason, it could be age discrimination.
► Picking on the employee. If all the employees are participating in an activity that could be seen as slacking, but only the younger or older employee is called out for it by the manager, it may be discrimination based on age.
► Refusal to promote. An employee who is performing well and is qualified for a promotion should be given advancement opportunities, regardless of the employee’s age. A supervisor who refuses to promote an older employee because the supervisor believes the employee will not be with the company much longer discriminates based on age.
►Passed over for lack of experience. For younger employees, age discrimination may occur when you are qualified for the position, but you are passed over because you lack enough experience.
How do you Prove Age Discrimination?
Proving age discrimination in the workplace can be challenging because employers rarely state the reason they are not hiring or promoting an employee is because of their age. Therefore, it is important to look for cues in the comments a supervisor says. A few examples of comments that are indicative of an age bias are “you don’t have enough gray hairs” or “you are too experienced for the position.”
If you believe you are the victim of age discrimination, start building your case immediately. This may include taking notes on when, what and by who the comments were made. Be sure to note any witnesses present when the remarks were made.
It is also smart for an employee to request a copy of their personnel file. You may discover information regarding why you did not get promoted. There should also be notes on your work performance, which can be helpful in proving your case.
Contact Experienced Employment Attorneys
Let’s go get some justice! If you’ve been treated unfairly at work and are wondering if you should take action, contact us and we’ll help you evaluate the merits of your case. Once you know, you can decide what you want to do. Contact us today!
The Crone Law Firm is one of the few firms in Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kansas, and the Southeast to focus exclusively on employment law matters. We are passionate about resolving your workplace disputes and we know the law inside and out. Call us at 901-737-7740 to see how we can help.