Age Discrimination Exceptions
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What is Age Discrimination?
Age discrimination occurs when an employer treats you differently from other employees because of your age.
While age discrimination is illegal in the workplace due to the Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA), the ADEA does include several exceptions. If your employer does something that seems to be age discrimination, but the reasoning behind your employer’s actions is based on one of the following reasons, it might be difficult to win an age discrimination case.
What Are Some Exceptions to Age Discrimination Laws?
The following are several reasons that permit actions that might be considered age discrimination:
- Factors Merely Correlated with Age: If your employer’s actions are only coincidentally related to age it might be deemed to be non-discriminatory. Some examples include pension status, benefits, age-related disabilities, proximity to retirement, or a high salary.
- Bona Fide Seniority System of Benefit Plan: If there is a real seniority system of benefit plan in place, it is not considered age discrimination if there are a greater number of older people in more advanced positions. Additionally, early retirement offers under such systems or plans are generally permitted.
- Business Considerations: If there are business considerations that causes positions held by older people to be eliminated, that is allowed as long as no other employees are hired or reassigned to perform the same duties as the person eliminated.
- Age-Related Job Qualifications: Employers can make it so that only people under or over a certain age can hold a position. This is only allowed if age can be used a good determination of whether someone is qualified for the position and if it is impossible or highly impractical to assess each employee individually. This exception is rare and usually limited to public safety considerations, such as age limits for who can join the military or police force.
Should I Contact an Attorney?
As you can see, age discrimination laws are complex and filled with little nuances. Thus, it is best to contact an experienced attorney. An experienced employment law attorney can review your case and let you know what options are available to you if you feel you have been discriminated against due to your age.
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Last Modified: 10-02-2013 11:09 AM PDT
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