It is truly unfortunate that an employer would base employee merit on age alone but cases have become more frequent. Often times hard working, loyal, and productive workers are the ones that suffer from this policy of replacing older workers with younger workers and litigation may be the only way to help the worker that has been wronged. The offending party can be a co-worker or a manager or supervisor. The harasser can also be a customer, a vendor , or a client. Simply put, any adverse employment action you suffer does not have to come directly from the employer.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects employees who are 40 years of age or older from discrimination because of their age.
The ADEA makes it illegal to subject employees to negative consequences associated with reporting discrimination or harassment, or participating in an investigation regarding discrimination or harassment.
It would therefore be illegal to demote, fire, refuse to promote, harass or otherwise "Retaliate" against employees.
The Age Discrimination laws enforced by the EEOC forbid Retaliation in any aspect of employment including pay, promotion, layoff, fringe benefits, training, job assignment, hiring, firing and any other condition of employment.
The remedies for this type of violation are diverse and may include a monetary award known as liquidated damages that are twice the amount equal to back pay which could be awarded if a willful violation is established. Another option is supervision of the defendant to prevent any future retaliation and age discrimination against employees. Additional remedies include supervision and training for supervisors on the ways to address complaints and an outside EEOC monitor to insure compliance as well as postings for employees.
Examples of Age Discrimination
- Being passed over for promotion
- Exclusion from meetings and decision making process
- Negative employment evaluations where none ever occurred prior
- Increased scrutiny regarding older workers
- Being disciplined selectively / younger workers not disciplined
- Denied training
- Older workers being denied benefits
- Demotion or reduction in salary
- Manager or supervisor informs you that "we need new blood"
- Manager comments that you look "Old These Days"
- Being fired after a series of age based comments
- Losing job duties to less experienced workers
- Being replaced by a younger worker that is paid less
- Being assighned to a less desireable position
- Pattern of forcing out older workers
- Outside contractors that suggest restructuring eliminating your position
- Job advertisements or notices that reference age limits
- Apprentice programs that have age limitations
- Although it is not illegal to ask an employees age during the hiring process, questions posed in a way that might keep older workers from applying may be age base discrimination
The above examples are not an exhaustive list and employers can be skilled at hiding their true intentions when it comes to discrimination. That is why it is so important to have the right lawyer help you. Call me today for a personal one on one private and Free Consultation so that we can examine the merits of your case and so you can get the help you need immediately.