An Age Discrimination Lawyer will Know your Rights
The United States provides many laws that protect individuals from discrimination. There are a number of laws that prohibit employers from discriminating against employees in any form. This means your employer is not allowed to discriminate against you due to your age.
While there are many stereotypes surrounding older people within our culture, your employer is not allowed to incorporate these stereotypes into workplace choices. If your employer does discriminate against you due to your age, you need to hire an age discrimination lawyer. Before you do so, you should educate yourself on your rights as an older worker.
The right to be free of discrimination due to age in the workplace was created through the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). This law prohibits every employer from discriminating against anyone over the age of 40 years during the hiring, employment, or termination process. Due to the vast power of the ADEA, individuals over 40 are protected from discrimination in every phase of employment, including:
The ADEA only applies to businesses with 20 or more employees and to federal and local government entities. As well, the act doesn’t allow for discrimination between employees over 40 either. A company cannot hire a 41-year-old just because he or she is younger than an equally qualified 55-year-old.
The ADEA isn’t the only act created to ensure older workers are not discriminated against. The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) was created to make it illegal for any employer to use the age of an employee as the basis for discriminating against him or her for benefits and retirement. The OWBPA protects individuals over the age of 40, just like the ADEA.
Basically, the OWBPA ensures employers provide equal benefits for old and young employees. Employees must be provided the same fringe benefits regardless of age. These benefits include:
• Health insurance
• Life insurance
• Retirement benefits
• Disability benefits
There are some cases were older workers may be entitled to a lesser benefit in certain areas, but this is only true if the government or company is making up the difference in some way in that area already.
The ADEA and the OWBPA are not the only laws protecting older workers. Many states also prohibit age discrimination. These state laws usually apply to companies with fewer than 20 workers, while federal laws cover all larger companies. An age discrimination lawyer in your area will be able to help you sort through the details of your case and which laws may apply.