Age Discrimination at Work?
Los Angeles Age Discrimination Lawyer
If you suspect age discrimination in the workplace, you may be able to secure relief under state or federal law. Age discrimination is present if an individual covered under this provision is treated unfavorably in the terms and conditions of his/her employment because of his or her age. Find out the steps an age discrimination lawyer takes to prove an age discrimination claim. If you suspect age discrimination, file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or under your state discrimination laws.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act
Equal Protections with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
Federally, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) only protects employees over the age of 40 from age discrimination. Moreover, you cannot sue under the ADEA if your workplace employs less than 20 people.
However, age discrimination is permitted in certain, special circumstances. For instance, executives who make over $44,000 annually can be forced to retire at the age of 65. Furthermore, certain government workers are also subject to certain age limitations. This can include fire personnel, police officers or air traffic controllers.
Is Age a Protected Class?
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. The ADEA’s protections apply to both employees and job applicants. Under the ADEA, it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his/her age with respect to any term, condition or privilege of employment. Hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments and training are all included under this law.
It is also unlawful to retaliate against an individual for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on age. Additionally, you cannot retaliate if someone files an age discrimination claim, testifies or participates in any way in an investigation, proceeding or litigation under the ADEA. The ADEA applies to employers with 20 or more employees, including state and local governments. It also applies to employment agencies and to labor organizations, as well as to the federal government.
Age Discrimination in Apprenticeship Programs
It is generally unlawful for apprenticeship programs to discriminate on the basis of an individual’s age. This includes joint labor-management apprenticeship programs. Age limitations in apprenticeship programs are valid only if they fall within certain specific exceptions under the ADEA or if the EEOC grants a specific exemption.
Age Discrimination in Job Advertisements and Notices
The ADEA makes it unlawful to include age preferences, limitations or specifications in job notices or advertisements. As a narrow exception to that general rule, a job notice or advertisement may specify an age limit in the rare circumstances where age is shown to be a “bona fide occupational qualification” (BFOQ) reasonably necessary to the essence of the business.
Can Potential Employers Ask Questions About Your Age Before Hiring? Pre-employment Inquiries
The ADEA does not specifically prohibit an employer from asking an applicant’s age or date of birth. However, such inquiries may deter older workers from applying for employment or may otherwise indicate possible intent to discriminate based on age. Therefore, a lawful purpose needs to be the defining intent of the inquiry.
Summary of the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act
The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 (OWBPA) amended the ADEA to specifically prohibit employers from denying benefits to older employees. An employer may reduce benefits based on age only if the cost of providing the reduced benefits to older workers is the same as the cost of providing benefits to younger workers.
At an employer’s request, an individual may agree to waive his/her rights or claims under the ADEA. However, the ADEA, as amended by OWBPA, sets out specific minimum standards for a waiver to be valid.
Among other requirements, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission outlines that a valid ADEA waiver:
- Must be in writing and be understandable
- Must specifically refer to ADEA rights or claims
- May not waive rights or claims that may arise in the future
- Must be in exchange for valuable consideration
- Needs to advise the individual in writing to consult an attorney before signing the waiver
- Must provide the individual at least 21 days to consider the agreement and at least 7 days to revoke the agreement after signing it
In addition, if an employer requests an ADEA waiver in connection with an exit incentive program or other employment termination program, the minimum requirements for a valid waiver are more extensive. If you have any questions about ADEA waiver requirements, then you should reach out to a Los Angeles age discrimination lawyer today.
Questions about Workplace Conduct? Contact a Los Angeles Age Discrimination Lawyer Today
If you are a victim of discrimination in the workplace, contact an age discrimination lawyer at our law firm today. We can then set up a free attorney consultation. We help workers experiencing discrimination on the job, including age discrimination. Our Los Angeles discrimination attorneys can give clients information about what you next steps should be.
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