Age Discrimination Attorney: Do you have a Case?
Have you experienced discrimination in the workplace because of your age? If so, you may have a case against your employer.
By filing an age discrimination case, you can get justice when you have been mistreated by your employer. An age discrimination attorney can help you stop unfair treatment or claim promotions or benefits you’ve been denied. A judge may even award you money for your damages.
Age discrimination claims can be difficult to pursue. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible after you have experienced discrimination. This short guide can help you understand some of the important considerations that go into these types of cases.
Table of contents
- What is age discrimination?
- What is the ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act)?
- Proving age discrimination in the workplace
- How an age discrimination attorney can help
- Age discrimination frequently asked questions
First, you should understand what age discrimination is and what actions may be considered discriminatory.
What is age discrimination?
Age discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee unfavorably because of the employee’s age. In the U.S., the law protects employees over the age of 40 from being targeted for unfair treatment because of their age.
The law considers many types of actions to be discriminatory. The following examples are just some of the actions that may violate the law.
Examples of age discrimination:
- A company is only hiring younger employees and refusing to consider older applicants
- Older employees are not offered equal access to promotion or benefits
- Older employees are encouraged to retire against their will
- Older employees are targeted for layoffs or termination
- Older employees face unequal disciplinary attention
- Supervisors expose older employees to age-related harassment such as cruel comments
Most of the protections that older Americans have against discrimination were passed as part of the ADEA. You should understand this legislation and others that may apply.
What is the ADEA?
The ADEA (The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967) is the key piece of legislation that protects older employees from unfair treatment on the basis of their age.
The law provides all of the following protections against discrimination.
- Basis of age in hiring
- Conditions or privileges of employment
The protections that are provided by the ADEA are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This commission has broad power to investigate complaints and may take action against employers on your behalf, however, claims are typically pursued by private employment law attorneys hired by the employee.
Older employees may also be protected by the following laws:
- The Age Discrimination Act of 1975: This act prohibits age discrimination at any programs that take federal financial assistance. The protections in this act are enforced by the Civil Rights Center rather than the EEOC.
- Section 188 of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 (WIA): This provision of the Workforce Investment Act protects participants in Title I programs from age and other forms of discrimination.
In order to take advantage of the protections that the law provides, you will need to prove your claims. You will need to supply evidence to either the EEOC or to a court of law. Understanding what qualifies as proof can help you make better decisions before you make a claim.
Proving age discrimination in the workplace
To demonstrate that you have experienced legally-actionable discrimination, you will need to show the court that you:
- Are eligible to be covered by applicable anti-discrimination laws
- That you have been adversely affected by the actions of your employer
- Have reason to believe that the adverse actions you experienced were based on your age
To be eligible, you will need to be at least 40 years of age, and employed at a business that is obligated to adhere to ADEA guidelines.
Different forms of proof may be needed to show that you have been adversely affected. Your lawyer may recommend that you keep documentation of harmful comments that have been directed at you.
You may also be asked to keep timelines that show that less experienced employees received bonuses or promotions when you did not.
It can be difficult to prove that the harassment you’ve faced is based on your age. You should keep records of any communications you receive that address your age. Your lawyer may have additional ideas on how you can prove these claims based on your unique circumstances.
Frequently asked questions about age discrimination claims
What qualifies as age discrimination?
Any adverse employment action taken against a worker based on his/her age may qualify as an act of age discrimination. Any act of harassment that targets an employee on the basis of age may also constitute illegal discrimination. The ADEA intentionally defines discrimination broadly.
How do I make an age discrimination complaint?
Make an age discrimination complaint by filing an employment discrimination charge with the EEOC. You can file with the EEOC without having a lawyer, however, it can be very valuable to have the assistance of an attorney who handles age discrimination cases assisting you at this stage and insuring that the best possible case is presented to the EEOC investigator. Navigating the EEOC process in the best manner possible will increase the likelihood of obtaining a finding in your favor by the EEOC. The EEOC investigation may take some time. You may be required to wait until the investigation concludes before filing a lawsuit.
Can you sue for age discrimination?
You can sue for age discrimination claims. However, for complaints that fall under the ADEA, you will need to submit an EEOC complaint first. The EEOC will complete an investigation. Once the investigation is complete, the EEOC will present you with a right-to-sue notice.
What is the age limit for age discrimination?
The age limit for age discrimination is 40 under the ADEA. State anti-discrimination laws may have different limits in place. Certain organizations that accept federal funding may be required to observe stricter limits.
How long do I have to file an age discrimination claim?
Time limits exist for most EEOC complaints. You will need to make your complaint within 180 days of the last act of discrimination, unless you are also covered by state or local law. In those cases, you will need to make your complaint within 300 days. It is always best to act promptly to insure that any claim(s) you may have are not limited or lost due to the passage of time.
An age discrimination attorney can help
Do you need help understanding if you are experiencing age discrimination in the workplace? Do you need to know what evidence to preserve to prove your claims? Do you need help presenting your claim to the EEOC or making your claim in court?
An age discrimination attorney can assist you with every stage of the complaint process. Your attorney may be able to help you recover lost wages, or recover positions from which you’ve been terminated. If your case goes to trial, your lawyer may be able to help you claim all of the compensation to which you are legally entitled, plus attorney’s fees and cost.
If you feel you have been a victim of age discrimination in the workplace, contact us today for a free and confidential review of your specific circumstances.