Discrimination based on an employee’s age has increased in recent years, as evidenced by an increasing number of lawsuits filed based on employment law. This type of discrimination tends to increase when the economy is uncertain and companies must decrease either their budget or number of employees. Yet dismissing an employee because of his or her age is illegal; this is why anyone who has lost a job because of their age should discuss such circumstances with an employment law claims attorney. An experienced employment law attorney can help a person who has been passed over for a job or lost one due to their age.
Employment, Age Discrimination, and U.S. Employment Law
According to federal law and those governed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), it is illegal for a company to discriminate against any qualified employee or potential hire based on his or her age. There are state and federal laws that protect employees against this type of discrimination, including the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
As U.S. employees grow older, they may face this type of discrimination, particularly when companies need to reduce expenses. Proving age discrimination can be difficult, which is why anyone facing this issue should discuss it with an experienced employment law attorney. A company found guilty of age discrimination can face considerable fines and other penalties.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was created in 1967, when age discrimination was at an all time high. The ADEA is a federal law that protects employees from any type of discrimination based on their age. It applies to employees who are 40 years of age or older employed by companies with at least 20 employees. The ADEA provides protection for older employees by prohibiting any type of discrimination when: hiring, such as requiring an employee be a certain age for specific jobs; firing, laying off or otherwise displacing employees based on age; refusing promotions or benefits because of age; eliminating employee training or forcing employees to retire at a certain age; retaliating against the filing of discrimination lawsuits, and more.
What To Do In Suspected Cases of Age Discrimination
When an employee feels they have been discriminated against because of their age, collecting the evidence from which to build a legal case with a qualified employment law attorney is essential. This requires the employee to prove that he or she: could perform their job as necessary; was a good employee overall; was replaced by a younger employee; and has any other evidence that could indicate discrimination.
Although most laid-off employees are not actually victims of age discrimination, there are many who have faced such issues. If there is evidence that discrimination took place, an employee has the right to file suit against their employer for age discrimination. This is particularly true when actual termination was not involved, rather involves things such as the withholding or reduction of benefits, reduced opportunities, and other ways employers have been known to “cut corners” or “move in a different direction.”
If you have been fired, laid off, or feel you have been discriminated against by an employer based on your age, it is important to discuss the circumstances with an experienced employment law attorney. Based on any available evidence and a record of what took place, an employment law claims attorney can suggest whether filing a lawsuit is in your best interest – or if there are any other possible resolutions to the issues you have faced.
Josh Maurer, Attorney at Law
505 West Riverside Suite 400
Spokane WA 99201