As people grow older, they expect to be treated with dignity and respect, especially in the workplace. Unfortunately, due to ageism, many senior workers find themselves struggling against age discrimination, both in trying to obtain and retain employment. No matter how old you are, age discrimination is wrong, hurtful and, in many cases illegal. Fortunately, you don’t have to take age discrimination lying down, and may even be able to receive compensation.
If you’ve suffered age discrimination, then it’s important that you research your legal options and how you can fight back against this ugly practice.
What is Age Discrimination?
Before you examine your legal options for fighting back against age discrimination, it’s important that you learn more about the practice and look at a few examples that can help clarify the situation.
Typically, age discrimination happens in the workplace to employees that are over the age of 40. There are several ways that age discrimination can damage your employment opportunities. For example, an employer may hire a younger-looking applicant even though you are more qualified for the position. Or, you were fired by an employer who continuously makes derogatory statements about older employees.
Age discrimination can be very subtle in nature, which means you need to examine your case very closely to make sure that you have grounds for legal action.
Federal Laws Against the Practice
After suffering age-based employment discrimination, the first thing that you should do is to look at the federal laws related to age discrimination. Workers over 40 are protected from workplace age discrimination by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). In addition, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 (OWBPA) strengthened the ADEA so that employers were prevented from stripping or denying older workers of benefits.
Essentially, the ADEA protects any worker who has been harmed due to age discrimination and blocks employers from hiring or firing candidates due to their age. If your employer has violated the rules laid out by the ADEA, then you will be in a very good position to file an age discrimination lawsuit.
Who is Eligible for Protection?
It’s important to understand that not every employee is covered by ADEA protections. The ADEA only protects employees who are over the age of 40 that work for a company or business that employs 20 or more workers. Also, certain states have different requirements for the size of the staff, so it’s important that you examine the rules in your state before filing a suit.
Another factor to consider is that the ADEA prevents any and all sorts of workplace protections, even if both employees qualify under the law—an employer can’t provide preferential hiring to a 40-year-old employee over a 50-year-old employee, for example.
Fight Back After You’ve Suffered Age Discrimination
Suffering age discrimination can be one of the most stressful times of your life, especially if it causes you to miss out on needed employment. Fight back against age discrimination with the help of an attorney from the Stano Law Firm.
The Stano Law Firm legal team specializes in elder law, including age discrimination suits, and we’re ready to help you in whatever way that we can. Schedule a consultation with us today to discuss your case.