Age discrimination in the workplace

Discrimination against older workers persists across America.

Longer life spans are increasingly pushing our aging population to delay retirement. Growing societal emphasis on personal fulfillment and the need for bigger pools of retirement funds result from these longer life spans, kindling a desire in some to stay busy and engaged throughout their later years.

While many may want or financially need to work later in their lives, the possibility of age-based employment discrimination presents a significant obstacle to this end.

Illegal acts persist

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA") outlawed age discrimination at the federal level more than 50 years ago. That law prevents employers from discriminating against workers who are 40 or over in a variety of employment-related scenarios, including:

  • Hiring
  • Firing
  • Creation of a hostile work environment
  • Promotions
  • Bonuses
  • Reviews
  • Lay-offs
  • Benefit offerings
  • Inclusion of age limits in hiring decisions or job postings (unless there is a "reasonable factor other than age" that make such a limit necessary)

Despite implementation of the ADEA and various state-level statutes across the country, reports of discrimination against older workers continue with alarming frequency.

Potential legal remedies

A legal action can serve many purposes. These can include promoting a shift in company-wide culture that makes a workplace more inclusive for older workers, as well as providing remedies and compensation to individual workers who have been discriminated against. Such remedies include:

  • Back pay
  • Reinstatement (if the person was fired)
  • Missed advances, rewards and bonuses
  • Promotion
  • Court costs, attorney fees and other related expenses (including expert witness and evidence production fees)
  • "Front pay"
  • Being hired for an opportunity lost
  • Liquidated damages (typically twice the amount of missed front or back pay) if the violation of federal or state anti-discrimination laws is found to be "willful"
  • Other expenses that will make the person "whole" (as if no there were no discrimination)

If you have been the victim of age-related employment discrimination, reach out to the experienced employment law attorneys of Shepherd, Finkelman, Miller & Shah, LLP. Call the firm toll free at 866-540-5505 or send them an email today to schedule your consultation.