Abramson Labor Group – Age Discrimination
Under state and federal laws, a company cannot treat older workers differently because of their age. Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, a federal law, companies cannot discriminate against a worker or applicant who is 40 or older. In 1986, protections were added to ban mandatory retirement for workers and protections for tenured workers were added in 1993. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is applicable when any company has a minimum of 20 employees.
That covers federal laws that protect against age discrimination. There are also state laws that can add additional protections. For example, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act’s (FEHA) age discrimination laws are applicable in companies with 5 or more employees.
Issues Covered by Age Discrimination Laws
Age discrimination laws cover any aspect of applying for work and working for a company. You don’t have to be a current employee for age discrimination to happen. You can apply for a job and learn you didn’t get the job because the company feels you’re too old. If that happens, you’ve been discriminated against. That’s just one example. Here are all the ways age discrimination can happen.
Replacing Employees With Younger Workers
A company who demotes or lays off older workers and then replaces that worker with someone younger is practicing age discrimination. For example, a company says they must lay off workers due to money issues or a restructuring. After laying off older workers, the company immediately posts job openings to fill those same positions and they look for and hire younger workers.
Younger Workers Get Hire Pay or Bonuses
When a company uses age to decide how much someone is going to get for a bonus, raise, or hourly/weekly wages, it’s a case of age discrimination. For example, a company is giving yearly performance bonuses. Despite the fact that the worker over the age of 40 had higher sales or output, the younger worker who didn’t perform as well gets a larger bonus. That is a case of age discrimination.
Younger Workers Get Promoted First
As is true of the past example, if a company uses age to decide who gets a promotion, it’s also a case of age discrimination. If an older worker is a harder worker and produces or sells more, but he/she is overlooked for a promotion because the company believes he/she is too close to retirement, that’s discrimination.
Commenting or Demanding Older Workers Work Faster
If a supervisor or manager makes comments that the older workers in a company are too slow and need to work faster if they want to keep their jobs, that’s another form of age discrimination. They cannot push an older worker to work harder or faster if the worker is always working at his or her capability. They also cannot belittle an older worker for being slower or not being as technologically advanced as a younger worker.
Forced Early Retirement
If you’re working for a company and they demand that some of their older workers take early retirement, it’s age discrimination. For example, a company who tells all of its employees who are around the age of 60 that they can take early retirement or get low approval ratings at their next review have been discriminated against.
Denying Benefits to Older Workers
A company cannot refuse to provide older workers with specific benefits solely because of age. Benefits that are offered are for all workers, not just the younger ones. For example, a company who offers life insurance coverage to their workers cannot tell a worker 40 or older that their policy will cost more and, therefore, will not be provided as a benefit. Benefits must be available to all workers regardless of age.
Your Employee Cannot Retaliate Against You
If you do file a complaint, your employer cannot retaliate. Retaliation is illegal under the ADEA and FEHA laws. For this reason, you don’t have to worry about what your employer will do if you do file a complaint. They cannot do anything to you if you request an investigation or file a complaint.
You Have Rights
If you’re 40 or older and feel that you’ve been discriminated against in the workplace, you need the advice of an experienced age discrimination attorney. Abramson Labor Group is the dedicated advocate you need on your side. The attorneys strive to help resolve your discrimination complaint and ensure your rights are protected. Give us a call. We’re happy to look at your complaint and help you file a complaint.