Discrimination on the basis of age is a problem for employees who are either too young or too old. Both can be victims of age discrimination by the employer. According to the law, employers may not hire, fire or promote employees based on their age. In most cases, it is difficult to predict whether the decision was taken because of the employee’s age or not. Employers often have other excuses for their decisions. Employees who feel that discrimination is taking place may file a complaint in court.
Employers sometimes discriminate because of a person’s age without actual intent. A young employee might be overlooked because an older employee has been working at the organization for a longer period of time. An older employee may find it difficult to compete with younger employees who have more enthusiasm and zeal. But employers do have the right to choose employees who are best for the job. For example, a younger employee would do better at jobs that require physical exertion.
Several laws are in place to protect employees from discrimination. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act was passed to make sure employers do not discriminate against employees who are above the age of 40. Some state laws, like the Worker’s Benefit Protection Act in Missouri, also protect employees from age discrimination. The ADEA is very clear on age discrimination and amendments have been made to make sure there are no loopholes in the act.
If you feel that your employer is discriminating against you because of your age, it is best to contact an experienced attorney. The attorney will assess your situation and fight for your rights in court.