Age discrimination is a pervasive issue that affects many employees across various industries. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was enacted to protect individuals from such discriminatory practices in the workplace.
The ADEA is a federal law in the United States that prohibits discrimination against individuals 40 or older. Established in 1967, the ADEA aims to promote the employment of older people based on their ability rather than their age and to prohibit arbitrary age discrimination in employment.
The ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more employees, including federal, state, and local governments, employment agencies, and labor organizations. Under this law, employers are prohibited from discriminating against individuals in any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoffs, training, benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
Examples of Illegal Workplace Discrimination Under the ADEA
There are numerous ways in which age discrimination can manifest in the workplace. Here are three examples of situations that could constitute a violation of the ADEA:
- Age-based hiring practices: If an employer refuses to hire an individual because they are over 40 years old and opts for a younger candidate despite equal qualifications, this could be seen as a violation of the ADEA.
- Forced retirement: Employers cannot force employees to retire at a certain age, except in minimal circumstances. Any attempt to coerce or pressure an employee aged 40 or above into retirement could be considered unlawful under the ADEA.
- Age-related remarks and stereotypes: The ADEA protects against a hostile work environment created by age-related insults, jokes, or stereotypes. If such behavior is frequent and severe enough to create a hostile or offensive work environment, it could be seen as a violation of the ADEA.
Options for Employees Facing Age Discrimination
If you believe you have been discriminated against based on your age, you typically have a few options:
- Filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC): The EEOC enforces the ADEA at the federal level. Before you can file a lawsuit in court under the ADEA, you must file a discrimination charge with the EEOC.
- Lawsuit: After you have filed a charge with the EEOC and received a notice of right to sue, you may pursue a lawsuit against your employer. It is highly recommended to seek legal counsel before taking this step.
- Mediation: In some cases, mediation might be a viable option. This involves a neutral third party who assists the employee and employer in reaching a voluntary, negotiated resolution.
Our Philadelphia Age Discrimination Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Can Help You With ADEA Violations
The ADEA provides workers with protection from age discrimination. If you have faced age discrimination at work, speak with our Philadelphia age discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania, including Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Northeast Philadelphia, Bucks County, Chester County, Delaware County, Lehigh County, and Montgomery County.