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Protecting the Employment Rights of Individuals 40 Years Old or Older

Posted by on Oct 3, 2016 in Labor Laws | 0 comments

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which was signed into law in 1967, prohibits any discriminatory acts against anyone based on his/her age. Specifically, the Act forbids discrimination against persons 40 years old or older in all employment-related matters including hiring, promotion, retention of employment, job assignment, compensation and benefits, training, and layoff. This protection provided by ADEA is intended for both job applicants and employees, while those covered by the Act includes state, local governments, labor organizations, employment agencies and all private companies with 20 or more employees; the Act also provides protection to U.S. citizens hired by or working for a U.S. employer overseas, but only if no laws in such country will be violated by the Act).

Other than the prohibition of discriminatory acts based on age, ADEA also prohibits any form of retaliatory act directed an employee who: complains about age discrimination practices in his/her workplace; files a complaint to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) about a violation of any of the stipulations of ADEA or of other anti-discrimination laws; or, participates or testifies in an investigation or lawsuit proceeding regarding employment discrimination.

ADEA also prohibits:

The inclusion of age specification, age limit or age preference in job advertisements and notices, unless age is a bona fide occupational qualification in the job (an actor supposed to play the role of a young adult in a film, is one example);

Inquiring, during job interviews, about an applicant’s age except in jobs, like an airline pilot or bus driver which requires a mandatory retirement age;

Making offensive remarks about a person’s age, which may be construed as harassment (except when such remarks are made as offhand comments or simple ways of teasing and not as forms of insult to the person concerned); and,

Denying older employees of the work benefits that they are legally entitled to. However, due to the fact that the cost of certain benefits will cost higher when provided to older employees, the law, therefore allows employers, in limited circumstances, to reduce benefits based on age, so long as the cost of the reduced benefits to older workers and the cost of the benefits provided to younger workers are the same.

The website of the Leichter Law Firm clearly shows how age discrimination leads to less favorable treatment of certain individuals; a form of treatment that may even result to that individual’s demotion or firing. Other than his/her supervisor, a person may be discriminated (due to his/her age) by a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.

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