While discriminating against an employee due to their age is unlawful, it is common practice among Pennsylvania employers. Sadly, most cases of age discrimination are either not reported, or no wrongdoing is found because there is insufficient evidence to prove that discrimination took place. However, by working with an experienced age discrimination attorney who practices solely in employment law, you vastly improve your chances of a positive outcome. You undoubtedly have suffered financial and emotional damages due to unlawful discrimination, and now is your opportunity to hold the employer accountable for their poor choices.
State and Federal Laws Prohibit Age Discrimination Against Employees 40 and Older
Age discrimination is only protected under federal and Pennsylvania laws when the employee is over 40 years old. There are benefits to hiring and promoting older workers that some employers just do not see, such as not having younger kids at home as a distraction, having more job experience and a strong work ethic, and longer-term loyalty than younger employees looking for the next best gig. Older employees have lower levels of depression and anxiety, and an AARP survey found that health and happiness actually increased with age, as reported by the Huffington Post. It may seem odd that an employer would choose a younger, less experienced employee over an older employee, but it happens every day. Whatever the employer’s flawed reasoning may be, whether they believe that younger employees will be less expensive or they think that older employees cannot keep up with the workflow, their actions go against the Pennsylvania Human Rights Act, which strictly prohibits age discrimination in the workplace.
Have You Experienced Any of the Following Forms of Discrimination?
All of the following employment decisions are forms of age discrimination under Pennsylvania and federal laws:
- Refusal to hire;
- Refusal to promote the job offering;
- Denials of promotions or raises;
- Denial of benefits, such as vacation time or group health care;
- Hostile work environment; and
Age Discrimination Laws are Weakening With Time. You Need an Experienced Attorney On Your Side
Over the decades since the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was signed into law in 1967, a number of attacks have weakened it. For example, the Supreme Court ruled in 1993 that a 62-year-old man was not discriminated against when his employer fired him weeks before he was set to receive his pension because the Court said that the pension was based on length of employment and not the age of the man. Another attack came in 2009, when the Supreme Court again sided with the employer in increasing the burden of proof for age bias to levels not required for other types of discrimination, as reported by ProPublica. It is more difficult than ever to win an age discrimination case, which is why it is imperative that you work with only the most experienced legal team available. Do not hesitate to contact the Pennsylvania law offices of HKM Employment Attorneys for help.