While most employers value their older employees for their commitment and competence, some try to replace workers because of their age. Any type of unfair treatment at work is considered discrimination, but ageism is a form of illegal activity, and your rights are protected under the Equal Opportunity and Employment Act. If you believe that you are being discriminated against due to age, you can find more information on what steps you can take.
What to Do If You Are Experiencing Age Discrimination
Under the Age Discrimination and Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), you are protected from ageism if you are over 40. You should receive the same treatment as any other employee in terms of compensation, privileges, promotions, and more.
Speak With Your Supervisor
If you feel that you are experiencing ageism, you can calmly confront your supervisor and express your disappointment. You have to provide a reasonable explanation concerning your experience. The supervisor may be able to provide a solution for the situation.
You should make sure that you keep documenting any commentary you believe was discriminatory. Keep any evidence of any retaliation after you filed a complaint. Any emails or conversations that you had should be noted. Do not keep any documents that violate company rules. You can’t secretly record conversations, as that is considered unlawful in many states.
File An Official Complaint
You should file a formal complaint with the human resources division. If there isn’t one, then contact a higher manager or company leader. Make your complaint very detailed and logical, with information that backs your statements.
Contact the EEOC
You can first submit an inquiry to the EEOC before filing a formal complaint. This is so that you can receive additional information on whether your employer has performed fairly or if you are being discriminated against based on age. Once you do submit a formal complaint, the EEOC will launch an investigation. If you are a federal employee, you have to contact your equal opportunity counselor within 45 days of the discrimination. All other employees must file a complaint within 180 days of the offense.
If the EEOC discovers unfair activity, they will propose mediation. The EEOC mediators will try to find a resolution and create an agreement between you and your employer. This is to solve the problem quickly without the additional cost of a lawsuit.
Work With an Age Discrimination Lawyer
An attorney can help educate you on what avenues are available to you. For example, an age discrimination lawyer can inform you of what you can do concerning lawsuits. Once you provide evidence, your lawyer can let you know if this is a case of discrimination and direct you on what additional information you may need to support your claim.
File a Lawsuit
Before going down this route, you must file a complaint with the EEOC. After 60 days, if the EEOC has not responded, then you can file a lawsuit. If the EEOC sends you a right-to-sue letter, then you have 90 days to file the lawsuit. The EEOC may find additional evidence that can encourage your employer to mediate a solution with you. However, things don’t always work out so perfectly. You can work with your attorney to file a lawsuit and take further steps to rectify the situation.
How the Lawsuit Works
Your attorney will draft all of the documents required for the lawsuit. You will have to review them before signing. Try to ask any clarifying questions. The lawsuit will be delivered to your employer, who has to respond. If there is no response, you will win the case. Both you and your employer will then prepare evidence. You should have a strong reason or motive for why you believe you are being discriminated against. In addition to evidence, witnesses can help. It may be an uncomfortable experience, as you will have to openly speak in court regarding the discrimination. Your employer may settle, negotiate, or continue to fight in court. You also have the option to appeal the court’s decision if you lose. If you win, you will be paid any damages. The employer has to cover all of the attorney and court fees.
Obvious Signs of Age Discrimination
Age discrimination is not always overt and your employers and coworkers may not even realize they’re engaging in discriminatory behavior. Here are a few signs of age discrimination.
- You are being excluded from company events or even after-work-hours outings.
- You have been passed over for promotional opportunities or transfers for less-qualified younger employees.
- You find out that younger employees in your firm are making more than you for the same work in the same position.
Not all age discrimination is obvious. If you believe that others are treating you differently because of your age, call an attorney who deals with age discrimination cases in your area.
Find Out More Information
You can learn more about what steps you can take if you are being discriminated against. Contact a reliable age discrimination lawyer today.