Age Discrimination


Age discrimination occurs anytime you are treated differently or unfairly in your work environment because of your age. Age Discrimination does not have to be based on your status as an older employee. Sometimes discrimination based on age can be because you are too young. Ageism is illegal and the age discrimination lawyers at the Derek Smith Law Group, offer a free consultation and charge no fee unless we recover for you.

The challenge in age discrimination claims is not to prove that someone was fired or denied a job under suspicious circumstances, but rather that age or years of experience played a defining role in the employer’s decision.

Our law firm strives to protect older workers from age-based discrimination or harassment in the workplace. With our understanding of age discrimination law, we act as mediators as well as litigate to recover losses due to workplace unfairness. In many areas of industry, even those not traditionally known for an age bias, instances are beginning to occur where job assessments, promotions, raises, and other metrics are being driven by an employee’s age and not his/her performance. Reverse this disturbing trend by discussing your age discrimination case with our lawyers.

What is the ADEA?

The ADEA stands for the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. It is a federal law that governs age discrimination. Enacted in 1967, the ADEA promotes the employment of older workers based on abilities and skills rather than age. It also prevents age discrimination in the workplace, plus helps solve the problems that arise with an aging workforce.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects those 40 years of age or older from age discrimination. Under the ADEA, it is unlawful to discriminate against job applicants or employees because of their age.
This encompasses any condition or privilege of employment including all forms of compensation and benefits. An age discrimination lawyer can advise you of the applicable laws.

If employees work for state or federal governments or employers with 20 or more workers, ADEA protects them from age discrimination. ADEA applies to employment agencies and labor organizations as well.
It is also unlawful to retaliate against individuals for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on age or filing a lawsuit under the ADEA.

To prove age discrimination, generally, under the ADEA, an employee or job applicant must provide proof that age discrimination occurred. To prove age discrimination in the workplace, you must be able to show that you are:

  • 40 years old or older,
  • you were adversely affected by an employment action, and
  • your employer took such an action because of your age.

Job notices must comply with discrimination laws

The ADEA makes it unlawful to include age preferences or specifications in job notices or advertisements. But where age is a bona fide occupational qualification for the job, notices or ads may specify an age limit.
While the ADEA does not specifically prohibit an employer from asking for your age or birth date, such inquiries may deter older workers from applying for employment. Age discrimination attorneys can review these requests for age information to determine if they are lawful.

Who is Liable for Age Discrimination?

An employer is liable for the discriminatory acts of their employees if:

(1) the employee exercised managerial or supervisory responsibility; or

(2)  the employer knew of the discriminatory act and failed to take immediate and appropriate corrective actions to remedy and prevent such conduct once it had been discovered. An employer is deemed to have known of an employee’s discriminatory conduct where that conduct was known by another employee who exercised managerial or supervisory responsibility, or

(3) the employer should have known of the discriminatory conduct and failed to exercise reasonable care in preventing the conduct.

Before beginning any employment discrimination cases based on age, it is of the utmost importance that the alleged incident is reported to a supervisor or someone designated by the employer, such as the HR department.  Like all cases, filing an employment discrimination claim based on age starts with the complaint.

When Do I Have an Age Discrimination Claim?

Under § 8-07 (1)  an employer cannot refuse to hire, promote or terminate an individual based on their age. The employer must provide the same terms and conditions of employment, salary, and benefits of employment regardless of age. It must be noted, this protection include both apprentice, training and internship programs.

These protections not only apply to the hiring and life of employment of an employee, but they also extend to the application and advertising of the open position.  It is an unlawfully discriminatory practice to make any inquiry or application which sets limitations based on age, whether explicit or implied. However, there is an exception which allows employers to make such inquiries if they can show a legitimate reason, such as licensing, for inquiring about an applicant’s age.

An employer is forbidden from establishing seniority, layoff or recall lists based on age. This does not absolutely bar seniority systems, however, such systems must be based on length of employment as opposed to age.

It is also unlawful for any labor organization or union to deny benefits,  services or membership based on an employee’s age. § 8-07 (1) also prohibits mandatory retirements, to include reduction of retirement pay and benefits based on the age of retirement; with an exception being made for certain executives and persons of high policy-making positions.  Employment agencies are not exempt from § 8-07(1), they must provide services to individuals over the age of forty (40) along with recommendations on the same basis they would provide to clients of other age groups.

How Does Age Discrimination Claims Work?

An employee must show the employer discriminated against an employee based on their age. Cases can be convoluted, here is an example of a real case to demonstrate how discrimination claims work.

In the case of the Commission on Human Rights ex. Rel. Beverly Campbell v. Personal Employment Services. Here, the Beverly alleged that Personal Employment Services refused to hire her because she was over fifty (50), violating § 8 – 07 (1). The court looked at the documentary evidence presented by the employee in the form of testimony describing a receptionist of Personal Employment Services stated it was against their company policy to hire someone over the age of fifty. The court took this, together with all other evidence gathered, and ordered Personal Employment Services to pay Beverly  $1,000 in compensation for missed payments, and further ordered Personal Employment Services to pay a $5000 fine.

Fair Worker Benefits Prevent Discrimination

The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 (OWBPA) amended the ADEA to 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 equal to the cost of providing benefits to younger workers. Age discrimination not only causes potential financial harm to an employee, but it can also cause emotional or even physical harm if an employee was injured in the workplace due to an act of age discrimination. Regardless of what type of age discrimination you or a loved one experienced, it is important to act quickly by speaking with a top-rated age discrimination lawyer. Our attorneys know the benefits and options available to you.

Employment Discrimination Lawyers serving employees

If you need Age Discrimination Attorney or information on ADEA waivers or age discrimination lawsuits, please contact Derek Smith Law Group, PLLC. Call us at 800-807-2209 for a free consultation.


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With over 25 years of experience, we have represented thousands of employment discrimination victims. We have recovered millions for our clients, including the largest emotional distress jury verdict in an employment law case ever to be sustained on appeal!

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