Generally, when someone has several years’ worth of experience in a particular job field, an employer will view that person as someone who can add value to the workplace. These are the people who have a clear understanding of how the business works and what it will take to be a success. Also, they will also know who to reach out to in different situations and they can share their knowledge with others in the workplace.
However, the same way someone can be discriminated against due to race and gender, someone can also be discriminated against due to age. Although many people may not view age discrimination as a common problem in today’s workforce, it is more of a problem than they may realize. It is certainly not uncommon for an employer to deny a person employment because of age.
Unfortunately, those who have been discriminated against may not realize it until some time later. When a Minnesota employee becomes the victim of age discrimination, he or she has the right the fight the discriminatory action. There are both federal and state laws that make it illegal to discriminate against someone based on age.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 was created to protect applicants and employees who are 40 and over. Under your state’s law, Minnesota applicants and employees are protected under the Minnesota Human Rights Act. According to a previous study conducted by AARP, two out of three workers who are aged 45 and older have expressed that they have been victims of age discrimination.
The study also revealed that there is a difference between who is generally discriminated against. Out of men and women applicants and employees who are in the same age group, more women faced age discrimination. Today, the age of an employee or applicant that is considered “old” may not have been considered “old” decades ago. There are industries that see the majority of their employees being in the 20s age group.
Signs of Age Discrimination
If you have even a small concern that you are experiencing discrimination because of your age, you may be correct. Here are a few signs that you may have been discriminated against because of your age:
- You have heard negative remarks and insults that are related to your age
- You recognized the company’s pattern of only hiring people within a certain age group
- You are not being included in conferences and meetings which is not allowing you to contribute to the workplace in the manner you want
- You were not offered a promotion because of your age; the promotion was given to a younger employee who was not as qualified
- You are not being offered new work assignments because your employer assumes the workload will be too challenging
- You are no longer receiving high marks on your performance reviews
- You have been asked to retire
The Interview and Age Discrimination
Age discrimination can occur to a potential job candidate during the interview process. While an employer can legally ask for your date of birth to determine if you are legally eligible to perform the job you are applying for, they are not allowed to discriminate against someone based upon the age. Even before an employer conducts interviews, potential candidates can be deterred from applying based on the terms in the job posting.
How Can Age Discrimination Be Prevented?
If employers want to prevent age discrimination, the employer can clearly define discrimination acts and have a plan in place on how these issues should be addressed. Employers can also avoid asking particular questions that could lead one to think a discriminatory action could happen. Direct and indirect discrimination can take place in the workplace. Employers should have a clear understanding of the areas of the workplace that have biases.
How Can Age Discrimination Be Proven?
If you feel that you have been discriminated against because of your age, you will need evidence because proving this type of discrimination can be complex. You will need to provide evidence of exclusion, snarky comments, disciplinary actions against you that were unfair, etc. We recommend that applicants and employees document these instances. We also recommend speaking with a Minnesota employment lawyer to determine the best way to prove age discrimination.
If anyone has been discriminated against in the workplace because of the age, a claim can be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You can also consult with an employment lawyer and inquire about the steps you should take to file a lawsuit. We recommend getting advice from an experienced lawyer before you take any giant leaps.
We recommend that you take swift actions if you want to file an age discrimination claim. The acts that took place and the industry you are working in can have an impact on the amount of time you will have to file a claim of age discrimination. Sometimes one will have up to 6 months to file a claim from the final date of discrimination. If you are not sure of the amount of time you will have to file the claim, the employment lawyer you are consulting with will be able to provide you with a time frame.
Any type of discrimination is wrong, including age discrimination. What are the reasons why some employers discriminate applicants and employees based on age? There are many assumptions based on why an employer has discriminated against someone, those assumptions are unsubstantiated. Many employers are failing to realize that they are missing out on incredible benefits and values by hiring older workers.
At Villaume & Schiek, we do our absolute best to help those who have been discriminated against in the workplace. Some employers have been overlooked for a promotion and some have been fired so they could be swiftly replaced with someone younger. There are many situations where an employer has violated employment law.
If you want to know how your team can help you, please do not hesitate to reach out to us today to schedule a consultation.
Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individualsituation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.