Age Discrimination in the Workplace

The law ensures that every person in the United States is welcome to equal employment opportunities. This is true regardless of one’s background or identity. Factors such as age, gender, sexual identity, race, ethnicity, country of origin, and religion should not matter in one’s pursuit of a career. Unfortunately, there are a number of employers who disregard such policies and continue to discriminate against employees based solely on these arbitrary factors. One pressing issue of discrimination in the workplace centers on age.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act or ADEA took effect back in 1967. This particular law prohibited employers from discriminating against anyone aged 40 years or older, and is applicable to applicants and those already in their employ. It also prohibits employers from mentioning any age preference or limitations in certain job posting. Most importantly, it ensures that older employees are able to receive the same amount of benefits that younger employees enjoy.

Unfortunately, this law isn’t being properly observed in some workplaces across the country. As noted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC, many employers see hiring older employees as a liability. Many find older individuals as more difficult to train, over-qualified for a given position, or incapable of keeping pace with younger employees. According to data available in their website, the EEOC received 20,588 complaints of age discrimination in the workplace during the year 2014. Majority of these cases have been resolved through administrative closures and merit resolutions.

According to the website of Cary Kane, instances of age discrimination include refusal to hire or employ, wrongful termination of an employee, and failure to grant deserved merits and benefits. An employee facing these scenarios or any situation resulting in hostile working environment can pursue a civil case against their employee to ensure that their basic right to equal opportunity is protected.

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