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The rights of older employees in the workplace

| Jan 15, 2021 | Workplace Discrimination |

You may not be as young as some of your co-workers, but that does not mean you are any less capable. You know that your age does not impact your abilities, but unfortunately, age discrimination is a problem in many Washington, D.C., workplaces. If you believe you experienced this type of treatment, you may feel intimidated and discouraged, but you do not have to face this alone.

It is illegal to use someone’s age as a determining factor when making decisions at any stage of the employment process. This includes interview selection, hiring, training, promotion or termination decisions. Discrimination and harassment often go hand-in-hand, and as a victim, you could have grounds to move forward with legal action against your employer for what you experienced.

What counts as age discrimination?

Age discrimination can happen in many different ways. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act offers certain protections to workers who are over the age of 40. Because of the ADEA, employers cannot do any of the following:

  • Pass over a qualified candidate because he or she looks too old
  • Refuse to give older employees promotions or training opportunities
  • Fire older employees first if downsizing is necessary within the company
  • Encourage older workers to retire in the near future if they are not ready
  • Take away benefits from older employees
  • Subject older workers to derogatory jokes or comments about age

Discrimination is different in each case, and you may not be sure that what you experienced even counts as discriminatory treatment. However, it is within your rights to speak up and take action, starting by reaching out for legal help. A thorough assessment of your case can help you understand if what you experienced in your workplace is discrimination or harassment and whether you have grounds for a civil claim.

Employment law experience

When dealing with workplace discrimination and other employment law concerns, you will find it beneficial to work with an experienced legal ally. It can be challenging to take on your employer and fight for your rights after experiencing age discrimination, but you do not have to face it alone.

Through a civil claim, it is possible to hold employers accountable for unfair actions and discriminatory treatment. This course of action allows you to seek compensation for your pain and suffering, emotional duress and other losses you experienced as a victim of age discrimination and harassment.