AARP conducted a survey of approximately 1,502 older adults (i.e. over the age of 50). The survey responses revealed disturbing news: 64% of respondents admitted they saw or directly experienced age discrimination in the workplace. Of the respondents who admitted to seeing or being the victim of age discrimination, approximately 92% revealed that age discrimination is very or somewhat common.
Discriminating against someone simply due to his or her age is wrong. No one should be pre-judged simply because he or she is not in his or her 20s or 30s. Age discrimination is not just wrong, it is illegal.
What Federal Law Says
Federal law prohibits and fights against the discrimination of employees or prospective employees on the basis of age by employers. Employers cannot segregate, limit, or classify an employee based on that employee being in the age bracket of 40-70 years of age. Employers might not even compensate employees differently, apply separate terms or employment conditions, or grant preferential treatment based on age unless there is a bona fide seniority or existence of a merit system
The Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits the same kind of conduct but does not have an upper cap on the class that is protected as every employee within the age bracket of 40 or above, and working for an organization with at least 20 employees is protected. The ADEA also places a ban on harassment of a person based on his or her age.
Examples of Age Discrimination
Age discrimination can come in multiple forms, benignly or aggressively. The following are some of the signals to point out age discrimination in the workplace:
- Not getting hired because of your age
- Getting your job terminated while younger employees remain
- Not getting a promotion that went to a younger employee
- Getting bad performance reviews as a result of your age. For example, you are not assigned to new projects or are accused of an inability to learn new technology
- Getting terminated after or losing a promotion after your employer makes a discriminatory comment about you
What About Over-Qualification?
Sometimes, employers can base their discriminatory decision on the premise that you are overqualified for the job role. By law, employers are prevented from not hiring you because they think you will soon go into retirement.
What to do?
If you face age discrimination in the workplace, you should immediately get in touch with a discrimination attorney. Proving age discrimination is not a walk in the park. With the help of an age discrimination attorney, you can easily find the necessary ingredients for a successful age discrimination lawsuit.
Suspect You Have Been the Victim of Age Discrimination? Speak to a Kansas City Age Discrimination Attorney
If you believe you were fired, demoted, or missed out on a promotion due to your age, contact HKM Employment Attorneys today. We are ready and able to help.