All forms of discrimination are harmful to workers. Discrimination in the workplace is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Act lists the characteristics for which an individual may not be treated unfairly by his or her employer. Workers are protected from employment discrimination based on gender, race, religion, or disability. Workers over the age of 40 are also protected from age discrimination.
A recent study published by the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank provided substantial insight to the prevalence of age discrimination in American workplaces today. The study was conducted using more than 40,000 fake resumes, all of which were identical except for the age and gender listed for the candidate. The resumes were sent to employers across 11 states. The researchers found that as the applicant’s age rose, employers’ responsiveness levels fell. The disparity between responses for workers in different age groups was greater for women than it was for men.
How Does Age Discrimination Hurt Older Workers?
Like other types of discrimination, age discrimination can cost workers money in lost wages, reduced productivity, shortened careers, and increased health problems from the stresses of facing discrimination in the workplace. Companies might discriminate against older workers in an effort to avoid paying them higher salaries than younger employees because of their experience levels or because of assumptions about their ability to adapt to modern workplaces or work with today’s technology. No matter why it happens, it is always illegal and harmful.
A few examples of age discrimination include:
- Firing or laying off older employees and rehiring or keeping younger workers
- Making inappropriate jokes and remarks about certain workers’ age in the workplace
- Refusing to promote or hire individuals over a certain age
- Asking workers over a certain age inappropriate questions about their health or denying them healthcare coverage
It is also illegal to ask applicants questions meant to determine their age during interviews, such as asking when an applicant graduated from high school.
What are my Rights as an Age Discrimination Victim?
You have the right to notify the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of your experience and open an investigation of your case. If the EEOC finds that discrimination occurred, you have the right to negotiate a settlement for your damages with your company. You also have the right to seek compensation through a discrimination lawsuit, whether the EEOC found reason to believe you suffered from discrimination or not.
You also have the right to act as a whistleblower, which means that you have the right to inform the owner of your company or outside parties, such as the EEOC or the Department of Labor, of the discrimination that occurred at your company. Federal law prohibits employers from retaliating against workers who file discrimination claims.
Philadelphia Age Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. Help Age Discrimination Victims Seek the Compensation They Deserve
If you are a victim of age discrimination in your workplace, you have the right to seek compensation for your damages. Complete our online form or call 215-569-1999 to schedule your free legal consultation with one of our skilled and dedicated Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates P.C. We are located in Philadelphia and we proudly represent clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.