There are certainly hardships that come from getting older. However, these hardships should never come in the form of workplace discrimination. Age discrimination in the workplace is an unfortunate reality for many people. Age discrimination occurs when age is considered in terms of hiring, firing, promotions, setting wages, or establishing other benefits. Anyone age 40 or older falls into a protected class of people.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal law that prohibits employers with at least 20 employees from discriminating against individuals aged 40 or older throughout every aspect of the employment process. Someone’s age cannot be a basis for discriminating against them when it comes to anything related to the job.
The Burden of Proof
Sadly, age discrimination often goes on without remedy because it can be very subtle and difficult to prove. It’s exceptionally rare for an employer to come out and directly blame someone’s age for what has transpired. Therefore, the employer can claim that the actions taken were based on another factor. Another reason that age discrimination can be so difficult to prove is because the plaintiff has a higher standard of proof than other types of workplace discrimination. This was decided by the Supreme Court in 2009.
How Can You Prove Age Discrimination?
Despite the difficulty of proving age discrimination, doing so is still possible. The plaintiff must demonstrate that there has been a pattern of behavior and must present evidence that age discrimination was behind this pattern. Since it’s important to show this pattern of behavior, it is best to document every instance in which there have been comments made or other actions taken that show discrimination against you or other older employees. You’ll want to keep a log of this information including the time and place that these incidents occurred, who was present, and who said and did what.
There are many factors that can help to show that age discrimination has transpired. These include:
- An employer regularly making comments about your age or the age of other older employees;
- Older employees being disciplined for the same things that younger employees get away with;
- Younger employees being promoted or hired more often than qualified older employees;
- Older employees are being laid off at much higher rates than younger employees; and
- Performance reviews that go down as you get older.
What Can You Do?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing the ADEA and investigating any related complaints. The Commission will look for evidence indicating age discrimination has taken place. You can file a complaint with the EEOC, which may either sue the employer on the employee’s behalf or provide the employee with the right to sue the employer.
The Attorneys at Rochelle McCullough Help Those in Dallas Who Have Suffered Age Discrimination in the Workplace
Your place of work should be one of equity and lawfulness. You shouldn’t be mistreated on the basis of your age. If you believe that you have endured age discrimination in the workplace, you may be entitled to compensation. Be sure to speak with a qualified Texas employment law attorney as soon as possible.
The lawyers at Rochelle McCullough will help fight for your rights. To schedule a consultation, contact us today.