It is unlawful for an employer to discriminate against an employee or job applicant based on their age. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits employers from treating a job applicant or employee who is 40 years of age or older less favorably than others based on their age. Under Minnesota Law, age discrimination is prohibited against anyone who is age 25 or older.
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How Do You Know If You Are Experiencing Age Discrimination?
Age discrimination can be subtle. We can help you determine whether you have an age discrimination case by investigating your employer’s procedures regarding:
- Hiring and advertising for positions
- Promotions or bonuses offered
- Termination of employment
- Workplace conditions
- Opportunities for training
If you reported concerns of age discrimination, it is illegal for your employer to fire you or otherwise retaliate you.
How can I recognize age discrimination in a Minnesota workplace?
The workplace is rapidly changing today. Sometimes this can leave older workers feeling left behind. Recognizing age discrimination is important for aging workers who still believe their experience and ability are valuable assets in the workplace. The signs of age discrimination are not always obvious, but there are factors you should consider if you find that your work environment has changed as an older worker.
Employees age 40 and older are a protected employment class under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). This law protects older employees the same way you are protected from discrimination due to your race, religion or national origin.
The Signs Are Not Always Obvious
Employers may appear to favor younger workers because they are more adaptable to technology and will work for less money based on their experience. However, these assumptions are often false and fail to consider the skills older employees gain over many years on the job.
Age is usually not the sole or obvious factor in an employer’s decision-making. Management will not often go out and tell a person that they are too old to work there. Instead, the signs will be subtler.
Finding signs of age discrimination requires an attorney to make comparisons between how you and other employees in a similar position are treated. Employers can and do present legitimate business reasons for what is happening to you, but by taking a holistic approach to your case and organization, we can spot the reasons that do not make sense and could be averse to you.
Signs that could indicate age discrimination include:
- Employee evaluations that factor in “potential,” “energy” or “growth.”
- Suddenly poor performance reviews following a pattern of good performance.
- Moved to a position that you did not receive training for and may not succeed in.
- Failing to explain why you were laid off and restricting access to benefits.
- Language in job post listings that favors recent college graduates.
- Drastically different goals for employees of different ages in the same position.
- Different training opportunities for employees in the same position.
- Comments made by management related to age, appearance or youth.
If you believe that you have been the target of age discrimination in the workplace, you can speak to an attorney about your rights.
How An Attorney Helps Combat Age Discrimination
Once an attorney hears your side of the story, they will speak to your employer about your case. The attorney’s investigation is an essential part of the process because it will ensure that your case is robust enough to pursue specific claims in court.
Under the ADEA, Older Workers Benefit Protection Act and Minnesota Human Rights Act, your attorney can help you pursue compensation for the following losses:
- Backpay, anticipated wages and benefits
- Liquated damages for breach of contract
- Attorney costs
- Emotional distress
Experiencing age discrimination in the workplace can be a confusing and stressful time in your career. However, with the right information and resources, you can recognize signs of age discrimination and potentially earn compensation for your losses as a result.
Call Us Today To Schedule A Confidential Consultation
If you have experienced or are experiencing age discrimination at work, contact Bertelson Law Office, P.A. at 612-278-9832 to discuss what claims you may have.
*THIS MATERIAL IS EDUCATIONAL ONLY. IT DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AND SHOULD NOT SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE.