Age bias is prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and by several states’ laws. If you have been the victim of age bias while working or looking for a job, your first step should be to consult with a lawyer.
An experienced employment attorney can review your situation and let you know whether the employer’s actions are in fact illegal. Also, since some states’ age bias laws offer greater protections than ADEA, a lawyer can also advise you whether you should pursue your complaint under federal or state law.
If you decide to pursue your claim under the ADEA, then your next step is to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You do not need a lawyer to do this. However, many people find that having a lawyer during this process can be very helpful. An important part of the EEOC’s method is to mediate between you and your employer, and it may be a good idea to have an employment attorney represent you during this process.
Finally, many age bias claims end up with a lawsuit being filed against the employer. Some of these are brought by the EEOC on the victims’ behalf. However, most of the time it is up to you to file the lawsuit. In these situations you would clearly need to hire an attorney to represent your interests.