Memphis Age Discrimination Attorney
Representing Wronged Workers
At Donati Law, PLLC, we have handled an increasing number of age discrimination cases since the economic recession began in 2008. Despite often long and dedicated tenures of service to their companies, employers have targeted older workers for termination in an effort to cut salaries and because of a "perceived" benefit of employing younger workers. Older workers, however, have a number of laws that guarantee certain fundamental rights and can protect them against abuse.
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Understanding Age Discrimination Laws
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and similar state laws prohibit the practice of employment discrimination against older workers (i.e., those workers who are 40 years old or older). Disparate treatment cases are typical intentional discrimination cases in which a worker is targeted for discriminatory treatment on the basis of his or her age. Disparate impact cases are those in which a company has a uniformly enforced and seemingly neutral employment policy that adversely affects older workers. If you have been a victim of age discrimination, our legal team can take action on your behalf in order to achieve justice.
Why should you entrust your age discrimination case to our firm? Consider the following reasons:
- We have more than 150 years of collective legal experience
- We have been honored with inclusion on the Super Lawyers® list
- We have had countless successful results
What Does Age Discrimination Look Like?
Understanding what age discrimination looks like can be a challenge. Many workers may not seek their rightful protection if they don’t recognize discriminatory behavior against themselves or others. Here are several common examples of age discrimination in the workplace to help you recognize illegal behavior and take action to protect yourself and others.
1. Unwelcome Comments & Harassment
It’s not uncommon for employers or employees to make joking comments about a worker's age, but if these comments are unwelcome, they are considered harassment. Take note of the incident, the date, who was involved, and if there were any witnesses. If there is a pattern to the comments, you’ll be able to file a claim for age discrimination. It doesn’t matter who is harassing you—it’s still illegal. If you’re hearing negative or uncomfortable comments from a superior, coworker, or even customer or client of your company, you may be able to take action.
Discrimination doesn’t have to affect your income to be considered illegal. When there are repeated incidences of unwanted comments, jokes, or other age-related commentaries, it can create a hostile or offensive work environment. Harassment can even escalate to a demotion or termination if your work suffers because of the stress you are under. If you have experienced harassment at work due to your age, don’t let it get worse—call an experienced employment law attorney and begin the process of filing a claim.
2. Favoritism & Negative Comparisons
Employers can’t play favorites, legally, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t happen. If you notice that younger workers are treated more favorably than older workers, your workplace may have a problem with age discrimination. When young employees with less experience keep their jobs, while older employees are laid off, or younger workers are included in the company more than older workers, it is a sign of age discrimination. Similarly, it also can be a sign of trouble when younger workers are granted better contracts, assignments, leads, territories, equipment, or even workspaces over older employees.
3. Inequitable Discipline
Are older employees more harshly punished for doing the same things that younger workers do, while the younger workers seem to get off scot-free? Are mistakes met with more harshness when made by an older employee than when made by a younger one? If either of the above is true, you may be experiencing or witnessing age discrimination in your workplace. Always take notes when you notice discrimination happening, in the event you or another person must file a claim.
4. Overlooked for Promotions
Being passed over for a promotion can be painful at any age, but it is even more so when you were overlooked because of your age. When older, better-qualified workers are ignored for a promotion in favor of a younger employee, it may be age discrimination to blame.
5. Not Being Hired
Similarly, when older, highly qualified workers are turned down for a job in favor of younger, less-qualified workers, it can be age discrimination.
6. Milestone Age Changes
Milestone birthdays can be meaningful events, but it’s not uncommon for workers to experience changes at work after passing age 40, 50, or 60. More negative comments in your performance reviews, your supervisors feeling diminished confidence in your abilities, and other signs can signal age discrimination, too.
7. Policies & Procedures
Policies and procedures should apply to all workers, regardless of age. If there are reasonable factors, it may be permissible to alter some policies or procedures for certain age groups. There are laws in place that prohibit policies that negatively impact workers who are older than 40 unless there are reasonable factors other than age to make these policies necessary.
8. Age-Related Jobs
When advertising for a job, it is illegal for companies to post ads with an age preference, limitation, or specification, unless age is a reasonably necessary factor for the normal operation of that business or position. This also includes apprenticeships, internships, and other similar positions.
Contact Donati Law, PLLC for More Information
It is important to note that older workers because of their membership in the protected class have certain protections in cases of reductions-in-force and in cases where companies offer severance or separation agreements. At Donati Law, PLLC, it is our mission to protect workers from discrimination and illegal practices. Our highly experienced and caring Memphis employment law attorneys are ready to help you understand your legal options and take any actions available to help your cause. Schedule a consultation to discuss your case with our legal team today.
If you believe that you are being targeted for discrimination or termination on the basis of your age, please contact one of our attorneys immediately.