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Workplace Age Discrimination

Ageism is one of the most common forms of discrimination that employees face in the workplace.

Middle-aged employee looking stressed during meeting among younger peers

If you or a loved one have been discriminated against at work due to your age, you may have a claim against your employer for workplace discrimination. It is important to hire an experienced workplace discrimination attorney to pursue your claim and advocate for you to receive just compensation for any injuries you may have suffered. This article below discusses age discrimination in the workplace, and how you can bring a claim against your employer for engaging in such practices.

According to a study by the American Association of Retired Persons, 2 out of 3 workers that are older than 45 said they experienced some type of discrimination at work. This is a prevalent issue, especially in congested cities such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas where there is predominantly a younger population. Several seniors nowadays feel devalued when interacting with their employers because of the way that they are treated. This type of discrimination occurs every day in corporate America. It has become so common that many don’t even realize that it is illegal.

What is Workplace Discrimination?

Age discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employee is treated less favorably than other younger employees simply because of their age. Another word for workplace discrimination is called ageism. The irony behind age discrimination is that older employees have more knowledge and experience that is worth having in the company.

History of Ageism in the Workplace

In 1967, Congress passed the age discrimination in Employment Act that prohibited any employer from discriminating against persons who are 40 years of age or older. This law that was passed into effect prohibits mentioning age in job applications, putting age limits for positions, and having policies that negatively affect just those older employees. This act does not stop employers from forcing their employees to retire after becoming 60 years old.

Examples of Age Discrimination in the Workplace

There are several instances that raise workplace discrimination claims against your employer. Although it can differ on a case-by-case basis, some common instances include:

  • Being laid off: being laid off from the company solely because of your age could lead to wrongful termination and you may have a claim against your employer. If you have been laid off due to your age by your employer, contact our employment attorneys today.
  • Taking an early retirement: if your employer has forced you to take an early retirement before the required age, you may have a claim against your employer for age discrimination.
  • Denying health insurance: an employer is required to pay the same amount of health insurance to young workers as well as to older workers. If your employer has denied any benefits as a result of your older age, contact our attorneys today to determine if you have an age discrimination claim.
  • Harassment: if your employer has harassed you because of your age, you must hold your employer accountable for such actions. Harassment is a type of discrimination that is not taken lightly by the courts.
  • Technology: one of the most popular workplace environments that have witnessed age discrimination is in the tech industry. Several members in the tech industry have been fired and replaced by younger workers.
  • Being called old before getting fired
  • Performance improvement plans that specifically target older employees are likely to point to age discrimination.
  • Discipline: if the employer is specifically only disciplining those employees that are older, you may have a claim for age discrimination.
  • The group segregation: this occurs when the employer only chooses to spend time with younger employees rather than older employees.

Young boss lecturing older employee

Places Where Age Discrimination is Common

One of the most common instances that could take place is when an employer fires older employees rather than younger employees because the older employees have higher pay and salaries. Therefore, it is cheaper to the company to keep younger employees who have been taking much lower salaries. This is common in:

  • Tech industry
  • Nonprofits
  • Healthcare

How to Prevent Age Discrimination in the Workplace

There are specific actions employers may take to prevent any workplace discrimination. Some of these actions include

  • Having an open relationship with employees to make sure they are comfortable with the environment
  • Allowing opportunities to all employees
  • Constantly being alert for any discrimination cues
  • Avoiding any stereotypes against older employees

How Can I Prove Age Discrimination?

Proving age discrimination could be a bit difficult without any physical evidence. That is why it is very important to hire an experienced workplace attorney to aggressively pursue all types of evidence to build a stronger claim. An example would include statistics in the workplace and how older employees are more likely to get laid off than younger employees. Your attorney should work to gather as much evidence as possible against your employer regarding the workplace environment

There may be some problems when bringing forth an age discrimination claim in court. The employer could raise the reasonable factors test to show that they let go of the employee not due to age, but for some other reasonable factor. There are still many holes in the 1967 Act.

Another common problem with age discrimination is proving damages. Since it is hard to prove that the employee could have gotten a job elsewhere, proving damages is especially difficult.

Age Discrimination in Healthcare

Recently, an article was published by Kaiser Health News where several older adults had come forward saying that they felt stereotyped at the doctor’s office. They felt as if the medical providers had lost all hope for them simply because they were older. For example, one senior came forward and said an emergency room doctor would not give her medication for the urinary tract infection simply because of her age. She was told that because of her age they would only prescribe her pain killers rather than the required medication. This has sparked numerous advocacy groups such as Justice in Aging legal advocacy group who pushes for the rights of older adults. Ageism is not only prevalent in the healthcare industry, but we have seen it in other settings as well.

Contact an Experienced Age Discrimination Lawyer

Age discrimination is a very common type of discrimination in the workplace environment. Age discrimination could be very subtle, but could have very devastating effects for the employee. It is important to seek the advice of an employment discrimination attorney to determine what rights you have and what damages you can get compensated for.

If you have been discriminated against because of your age, contact our offices today to determine if you have a valid claim against your employer for workplace discrimination. Our employment attorneys will take a detailed view into your case and determine your rights and just compensation for you. We understand how difficult it could be getting laid off from the job simply for the discriminating reason. No one deserves to go through that, and we are here for you.

***Disclaimer: This page is created by Heidari Law Group for educational purposes. This article provides a general understanding of the law. It does not provide specific advice. By using this site and reading through this page, there is no attorney-client relationship created between you and any member of Heidari Law. Further, due to the constant change of the law, some parts of the information above may no longer be good law.

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