Age Discrimination in Employment Act Lawyers
What is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act?
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects individuals age 40 and older from age discrimination in employment. Under the ADEA no worker can be forced to retire.
Who Does the ADEA Apply to?
The ADEA does not apply to all employees and employers. For instance, the ADEA applies to:
- Workplaces with 20 or more employees
- Federal employees, private sector employees, and labor union employees, but not to state employees
Other people excluded from ADEA protection include:
- Executives or those in high policy-making positions who will receive $44,000 in annual retirement pension benefits
- Police and fire personnel, tenured university faculty, and certain federal employees
- People who hold jobs where age is important to the job
Even if the ADEA does not apply to you, every state except Alabama and South Dakota prohibits age discrimination in employment. Often, state laws provide greater protection than federal law by including people younger than 40.
Are there Other Laws that Protect Against Age Discrimination?
The Federal Older Workers Benefit Protection Act also protects against age discrimination. The Act's provisions:
- Make it illegal for employers to use an employee's age to discriminate in benefits or to target older workers for layoffs.
- Regulates legal waivers that employees are asked to sign in connection with early retirement programs. If you are faced with such a package, you may be able to negotiate the terms of your departure. You do not have to merely accept or reject the offer; you can negotiate and make a counteroffer.
- Restricts agreements where employees waive the right to sue.
What Should I Do if I Believe I Have Been Discriminated Against?
If you believe that you are a victim of age discrimination you should file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). If the EEOC does not resolve your complaint, you should consider contacting an experienced employment lawyer. An employment lawyer can help you sue your former employer for discrimination.
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Last Modified: 02-14-2012 04:40 PM PST
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