Age discrimination against workers older than 40 years old is illegal under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), but two-thirds of workers between ages 45 and 74 have reported witnessing or experiencing age discrimination. Unfortunately, these laws can be somewhat unclear for many workers, which means they may not seek legal protection. Here are 8 facts about age discrimination in the workplace to help you understand what it is, and what you can do if you experience it.
1. Age Discrimination Is Illegal at All Stages of Employment.
This includes during the hiring process, a critical stage for many older workers who are seeking new positions. This also encompasses promotions, raises, and layoffs. Older workers are also protected from harassment by coworkers, superiors, and clients due to their age. This law also prohibits mandatory retirement ages, except in select positions, including public safety and pilots.
2. It’s Legal for Employers to Ask for Age-Related information.
Your employer or interviewer can ask you for your age or your graduation date, which can lead to unconscious bias against older workers. To combat this you can try removing this information from your LinkedIn profile and deflecting these questions as best you can, but there’s nothing technically illegal about the question.
3. The Supreme Court has Ruled that Plaintiffs in Age Discrimination Claims Have a Higher Burden of Proof.
This means that you will need to present a huge amount of compelling evidence to support your claim if you’re involved in a lawsuit for age discrimination. This 2009 ruling was distinctly in the favor of employers. If you are filing a lawsuit against your employer for age discrimination, don’t hesitate the get our Memphis employment law attorneys on your side.
4. Not Being Hired Is One of the Most Common Forms of Age Discrimination.
In a study performed by AARP, 19% of respondents reported that declined applications due to age was the most common form of discrimination they’ve experienced. Another 12% said that they’ve been passed over for promotions due to their age, while 8% reported layoffs or being fired due to their age.
5. There’s a Gender Gap in the Perception of Age Discrimination
According to AARP, 72% of women between 45 and 74 believe that age discrimination is experienced by workers, while only 57% of similarly aged men agree.
6. You Can Fight Back Against Age Discrimination
If you’ve been the victim of age discrimination, you do have rights. You are able to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or file a lawsuit with the help of an attorney. It may be best to begin by filing a grievance with your company’s HR department and following the proper procedures. Discuss your best options with your lawyer before you take a step, and always keep records of all alleged age discrimination.
7. In 2016, the EEOC Received 20,857 Reports of Age Discrimination
This means that more than one-fifth of all the reports received by the EEOC are for age discrimination cases.
8. Workers Older than 50 Are the Most Engaged Employees in the Workplace
Contrary to the perceptions of many, older workers are highly engaged in their companies. An AARP study points to more than 65% of workers over 55 who show high levels of engagement, versus less than 60% of younger employees. Older workers also have lower turnover rates and offer far more experience to companies.
At Donati Law, PLLC, we’re committed to offering employees dedicated legal experience and representation in all employment law matters, including age discrimination cases. Our Memphis employment law attorneys are prepared to advise and guide you through every step of your case.
Contact our firm to schedule a consultation. Call (901) 209-5500 today!