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. In addition to being wrong, age discrimination is also illegal.
State and Federal Laws Against Discrimination
State and federal laws prohibit discrimination of employees or prospective employees on the basis of age. In 1983, the Kansas Age Discrimination in Employment Act was enacted, which states that employers cannot segregate, limit, or classify an employee based on that employee being in the age bracket of 40-70 years of age. In 2008, the Act was amended, removing the 70-year age cap.
Under this law, employers are prohibited from compensating employees differently, applying separate terms and employment conditions, and granting preferential treatment based on age unless there is a bona fide seniority or existence of a merit system. Kansas state law closely follows the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prohibits the same kind of conduct
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. An example is when 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 have the option of reporting it to the Kansas City office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You should also immediately get in touch with a discrimination attorney. Proving age discrimination can be a challenge, but with the help of an experienced age discrimination attorney, you can 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.