Workers over the age of 40 can be productive employees who bring valuable experience to employers. But not every employer recognizes that. There are still biases and misconceptions about older workers that impact how they are treated in the workplace. In some cases, they experience age discrimination.
Age discrimination in the workplace is shameful. It is also illegal. Under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, it is against the law to discriminate against employees and job applicants who are at least 40 years old. It applies to all private employers with 20 or more employees, as well as federal and local governments.
Ohio has a similar law protecting applicants and workers age 40 and older.
Age discrimination can take many forms
What is age discrimination? Examples include:
- A job advertisement makes it clear that younger applicants are preferred.
- A younger job applicant who is less qualified is hired over an older applicant who is more qualified.
- An older worker is passed over for promotion.
- Younger workers get preferred assignments or better opportunities.
- A layoff results in mostly older workers losing their jobs.
- Older workers are subjected to comments, jokes, and stereotypes related to age.
- An older worker is terminated for no good reason.
- An older worker is disciplined unfairly.
- An older worker stops getting raises, while younger workers do get them.
Some employers still believe in stereotypes about older workers. For example, they may think that older workers are less adaptable or are resistant or incapable of learning how to use new technology. They may think that younger workers bring fresh ideas and that older workers can’t be innovative.
But proving age discrimination in the workplace can be complicated. An employer will argue there were other factors and considerations that led to their decision. Simply being a member of a protected class does not automatically mean that you were a victim of age discrimination. You need to be able to prove that discrimination took place.
How a lawyer can help your claim
That’s why you need an experienced employment attorney on your side. At Gibson Law, LLC, we know how to build strong cases that must be taken seriously.
Our firm can:
- Listen to your account of what happened at the workplace.
- Gather evidence, review documentation, and interview witnesses.
- Review your options with you. These may include filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC).
- Meet with your employer and their attorneys.
- Negotiate a resolution of your claim.
- Move your case forward through the legal system if a resolution can’t be reached.
If you think you were the victim of age discrimination at the workplace, it’s important to get legal advice as soon as possible. Claims with the EEOC must be filed within 300 days, and in Ohio, the statute of limitations for taking legal action is two years. But the longer you wait, the more likely evidence will be lost, and witnesses will forget details.
Learn more about how Gibson Law, LLC, can help. Contact us to schedule a consultation.