Maryland Employment Lawyers
Age Discrimination In Employment
Age Discrimination is the act of treating an employee, or potential employee, less favorably due to the employee’s age.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects employees and applicants age 40 or older from workplace age discrimination. Anti-age discrimination laws do not protect individuals under the age of 40. The purpose of ADEA is to protect individuals from being discriminated against for being viewed in terms of employment as being “too old.”
Age Discrimination in the workplace takes place whenever age is factored into decisions affecting employment, such as hiring, promotion, discharge, and compensation. Examples can include:
- Mandatory retirement at a certain age.
- Treating older workers less favorably than younger workers; for example, targeting older workers for layoffs or discipline.
- Denying older workers higher pay, more favorable assignments, or more responsibilities than younger workers because of age. An example of this could be an employer transferring sales territories to a younger employee based on an unfounded belief that an older employee is not capable of meeting the travel requirements of the job.
- Making decisions based on stereotypes about older people. An example of this could be refusing training for an older worker based on the belief that the employee is not interested or is unable to learn new things.
- Being disciplined for something when a younger coworker has done the same thing without consequences.
Age discrimination can also take the form of harassment, which in turn may create a hostile work environment. This includes unwelcome jokes or biased comments, such as referring to an older employee as “grandpa.”
Courts will typically consider the following factors when deciding whether age discrimination has taken place:
- Do you belong to a protected class? In the case of age discrimination, this would mean being over the age of 40 and having age factored into employment decision making.
- Have you been subjected to adverse employment actions? This would likely include things such as a demotion, suspension, exclusion from training, termination, etc.
- Job qualification. You must be able to demonstrate that you are as qualified as other employees.
- Have you suffered adverse affects? You must be able to demonstrate that you have suffered an injury due to age discrimination, such as lost wages, lost promotional opportunities, or emotional distress.
Contact Our Maryland Employment Attorneys
If you are 40 years of age or older, and you believe you have been a victim of age discrimination, you may benefit from a consultation with the attorneys at Zipin, Amster & Greenberg.