Age Discrimination Laws

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Age Discrimination Laws

Most states and the federal government have laws that prohibit private persons, organizations, and governments from discriminating against people because of age. In employment situations, individuals are protected from age discrimination by employers on the basis of age under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Generally, workers over the age of 40 are protected. Age discrimination may have occurred if your employer has treated you differently than other employees who do the same work as you because of your age.

Intent Must Be Proved for an Age Discrimination Claim

To prove age discrimination, an employee must show that the employer's intent was to discriminate on the basis of age. This intent can also be proved if the employer has treated other persons in the same age range unfairly. Examples of when age discrimination can occur in the workplace:

What Else Is Prohibited by Age Discrimination Laws?

Federal Age Discrimination Laws and Agencies - EEOC

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces the federal anti-discrimination laws. They investigate claims of age discrimination in employment. Generally, in order to file a lawsuit in federal court, an employee must first file a claim with the EEOC. The deadline for filing a claim with the EEOC is 180 days after the age discriminatory act. Because the EEOC investigators are often overworked and have countless other cases, people often get a "right to sue" letter from the EEOC, hire a private lawyer, and pursue their age discrimination claim in Court. Employees that have signed a waiver of age discrimination rights may give up their right to sue an employer.

State Age Discrimination Laws and Agencies

Most states also have their own laws regulating age discrimination in employment, and agencies to enforce these laws. The names of these state agencies vary by state, as do the deadlines for filing a claim.

Do I Need an Attorney Experienced with Age Discrimination Cases?

Pursing an age discrimination claim against an employer is complicated because procedural laws vary depending on where and when you file your claim. A lawyer will help you with the filing deadlines specific to your claim. Also, because the EEOC investigators will not get to your claim immediately, a lawyer can help you investigate and pursue any additional remedies. It is also a good idea to see a lawyer before signing a waiver or other severance package. If you are an employer being sued for employment discrimination, you should speak to a lawyer immediately.

Vea esta página en español: Discriminación por Edad o visita para más información legal.

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Last Modified: 04-24-2014 09:45 AM PDT

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