Proving Your Age Discrimination Case
With an aging American workforce, it’s no surprise that age discrimination lawsuits are becoming more prevalent. Businesses with at least 20 employees must adhere to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or prospective employees age 40 and over on the basis of their age.
Are your rights being violated?
A lawyer can help determine if your employer is violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act by investigating whether:
- Hiring patterns exist. If your employer hires only employees under the age of 40 or you apply for a position that is given to a clearly less-qualified younger employee, your employer might be engaging in a systemic pattern of age discrimination.
- Disparate discipline actions against older individuals routinely occur. If you’ve noticed that you and other older employees are being disciplined for events that younger workers get away with, your employer may be engaging in age discrimination. You should document every time that this disparate treatment occurs, because your employer might be attempting to push you out the door under the guise of poor performance.
- Favoritism is present — in obvious or subtle ways. If you or other older workers routinely see promotions go to younger employees who are not as qualified as you, or if you are excluded from important meetings for no reason, it might be because of your age. You should also watch to see if younger employees are given better work assignments, offices or equipment.
- Direct comments have been made to you or other employees. Comments are the most direct — and compelling — evidence of discrimination. While direct comments are rare, if they have occurred in your case, they are crucial in proving age discrimination. Examples of these comments include a supervisor asking how soon you plan to retire, calling you “grandpa” or “grandma,” and making direct references to or jokes about your age. It is crucial you document any such comments, when they were said and by whom they were said. Also make a note of whether anyone else was present or would be able to corroborate your story.
If you have been the victim of age discrimination at work, reach out to an experienced workplace discrimination attorney who can help you prove your case.