You were employed in the same job for 30 years, and over the last three decades you became exceptionally skilled at what you do. After your boss of 25 years retired, however, the new manager decided to hire an increasingly younger workforce.
The new talent brought creativity and fresh ideas to the workplace -- something you enjoyed -- but you felt like the new boss looked at you differently because of your age. He even passed you up for lucrative job assignments in favor of your younger colleagues. It hadn't occurred to you before, since you don't identify with being "old," but now you're wondering if you're being discriminated against.
What laws protect me from age discrimination?
Age discrimination is prevalent throughout the United States, but it's unlawful and the victims of this abuse will have legal recourse should they choose to fight for their legal rights in court. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee because of his or her age. The ADEA protects employees aged 40 and up from any kind of age-related discrimination.
That said, the ADEA doesn't protect all employees in all businesses. You have to be an employee of a company that employs at least 20 workers to benefit from protection under this law. If you work for a smaller company in Florida, you may still be able to seek protection from age discrimination under the Florida Civil Rights Act.
What specifically does the ADEA prohibit?
Under the ADEA, employers are prohibited from doing the following:
- Discriminating against someone because of his or her age related to any privilege, condition or term of employment such as promotion, layoff, hiring, firing, benefits, compensation, training and job assignments.
- Harassing older workers because of their ages.
- Retaliating against employees who oppose age-related discrimination on the job.
- Retaliating against employees who file age discrimination complaints, testify regarding age discrimination complaints, or participate in age discrimination investigations or litigation.
- Advertising for job applicants who fall within a specific age category.
File an age discrimination lawsuit against your employer
If you've been fired, denied employment, denied benefits, denied advancement or suffered another negative job consequence because of your age, you might want to learn about your legal rights and options. Many victims of elder discrimination in Florida have successfully protected their rights and pursued financial compensation in court after being subjected to this unlawful form of workplace discrimination.