In the ideal workplace, employees would be evaluated based on their knowledge, skills, and work ethic.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Employment discrimination and other forms of discrimination can plague a workplace.
For an employer, it’s not only a bad idea to discriminate against someone because of his or her age – it’s also against the law.
The Employment Act protects employees who are 40 years of age or older. Employers that discriminate against an employee on the basis of age (or inclusion in another protected class) can be held responsible for their conduct.
Examples of age discrimination
Can you recognize signs of age-related discrimination? Any of these employer actions may indicate that age discrimination is occurring in your workplace:
- Treating older employees differently than younger employees
- Failing to promote older workers
- Targeting older employees in layoffs
- Targeting younger applicants in job recruitment efforts (such as “seeking young and energetic employees”)
- Asking an applicant’s age or date of birth in an interview
- Repeatedly inquiring about an employee’s retirement plans
- Encouraging an employee to retire
- Age-based name calling (calling an employee “old man” or “grandma”, for example)
If age discrimination has occurred, a federal employee may be eligible for compensation to cover back pay, front pay, job reinstatement, attorney fees, court costs, and more. It is advisable for an employee to promptly discuss his or her legal options with an employment law attorney.