Across the United States, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate based on age. While there are specific limitations to this approach, U.S. federal and Pennsylvania state laws protect employees from age-related discrimination. Additionally, these laws prohibit the type of hostile work environment where employees feel segregated based on their age. If and when an employee feels the impact of age-related discrimination, it can be incredibly helpful to consult with a proficient employment lawyer.
HKM Employment Attorneys LLP in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, know how to represent employees in age-related disputes. With years of experience pushing back against employers large and small, HKM Employment Attorneys can help provide a legal road to recovery. If you need legal help with age discrimination, contact us today to get started.
Differences Between Federal and State Age Discrimination Protections
Federal law in the form of the U.S. Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) makes it unlawful to discriminate against an employee based on his or her age. Employers are not allowed to hire, fire or promote simply based on age, though the ADEA only applies to companies with 20 or more employees. Consequently, employers with fewer than 20 employees are exempt from ADEA regulations.
State law in the form of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA) also makes it unlawful to discriminate against an employee based on age. Pennsylvania state protections under the PHRA mirror the federal protections under the ADEA. But the PHRA applies to all companies with four or more employees. As a result, the PHRA can be more effective in combatting age discrimination in smaller companies.
Boundaries of Age-Related Employment Discrimination
The ADEA and PHRA act in concert to prevent employers from discriminating against employees based on their age. In the traditional sense, this means that Pennsylvania employers are not able to hire, terminate, or advance employees simply based on their age. Additionally, the ADEA prohibits hostile work environments where older employees feel harassed. If the work environment is consistently negative toward older employees, then it may be a violation of federal or state law.
That being said, there is an important restriction on age-related discrimination. It is unlawful to discriminate and make employment decisions on the basis that an employee is too old. On the other hand, it is perfectly legal to discriminate against an employee on the basis that an employee is too young. Essentially, federal and state laws protect older employees from discrimination. But younger employees do not enjoy the same protections under the law.
Get Legal Help From a Pennsylvania Employment Attorney Today
If you are an employee who suffered unlawful workplace discrimination based on your age, HKM Employment Attorneys can help you strategize an appropriate legal recourse. HKM Employment Attorneys has proven capabilities representing employees against all types of employers, in age discrimination disputes and related matters. If you need legal help in this arena, contact us today for an initial consultation.