Age discrimination is a Miami workplace is when a person is treated poorly at work or harassed because they are over the age of 40. The law makes it illegal for an employer to fire someone, refuse to hire someone or force someone to retire because the person happens to be 40 or older. For the past 25 years, Derek Smith Law Group in Miami has been helping victims of age discrimination get the compensations they deserve. We are ready and willing to help you today.
The law in Miami is clear. Age discrimination is when an employer treats you poorly or harasses you because you are over the age of 40. This can be anything from making jokes about your age to firing you or forcing you to retire. However, the law is also clear that is does not protect people under the age of 40 in a Miami workplace. While someone under the age of 40 may experience other types of discrimination, they will not be able to claim age discrimination.
Laws discussing employment age discrimination are very clear regarding who is and is not a victim. Under the laws in the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), a person who is 40 years old or older and employed by a company with 20 or more employees may be the victim of age discrimination.
Another federal law expands on age discrimination in the workplace: The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBA). This law makes it illegal for your employer to deny you benefits based on your age.
The Florida Civil Human Rights Act changes this slightly. Under this state law, age discrimination by an employer is defined by a person over 40 working for a company of 15 or more employees.
To prove age discrimination in Miami, you will need to show that you were treated unfairly or harassed constantly because you are over the age of 40. You may be able to show this through direct evidence, which is that someone blatantly said you were not getting the job or were being fired because you are older than 40. You may be able to prove this through actions, such as showing that you were denied a promotion while your younger, less qualified co-worker, received that same promotion, or you were coerced for months to retire, until you finally did to stop the harassment. Finally, you may be able to prove that policy is geared towards keeping younger employees happy and weeding out the older employees.
In addition to these factors, the Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that the adverse employment action must be the result of the employee’s age and nothing else. It is called a “but-for” clause, which means that if everything else were the same and the employee was under 40, the adverse action would not have occurred. If this is not proven in court by the plaintiff, the court may rule that age discrimination in the workplace did not occur.
Age discrimination comes in many forms and may take a victim several instances to realize it is occurring. Some of the more subtle instances of age discrimination in Miami include:
- Gentle to aggressive jokes about hearing aids and getting older
- A workplace culture of hiring younger employees
- Consistent layoffs of employees over 40
- Being denied more challenging assignments
Of course, there are more aggressive forms of age discrimination that are much easier to notice:
- Constant discussion of retirement at a certain age
- Termination in favor of hiring a younger employee
- Demotions based on age
- Denial of benefits for people over 40
- Being forced to retire at a certain age
- Policies in the employee handbook geared towards anyone over 40 as opposed to the entire office
- No or diminutive pay raises that do not equal that of your younger counterparts
The goal is to pay attention, notice the signs of age discrimination and take action. Derek Smith Law Group has helped numerous clients fight the culture of age discrimination that runs rampant in certain industries. Our goal is to help you with your claim of age discrimination.
If you are looking to file a claim in the federal courts in Florida for workplace age discrimination, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) allows 300 days from the last incident. Anything filed after 300 days may not be investigated by the EEOC.
If it is better for your case to file your claim under the Florida Civil Human Rights Act, governed by the Florida Commission of Human Relations, you will have one year from the date of the last incident. After one year, you may not file a claim with the state agency.
The courts in Miami are able to provide several remedies to anyone who is the victim of age discrimination. The courts may provide some or all of the following remedies:
- Lost Back Pay
- Future wages
- Reinstatement of benefits
- Reinstatement of employment
- Firing of the person or people responsible for the discrimination
- Review and revamp policies and procedures
- Attorney’s fees
- Punitive damages. (These are the damages in which the employer is punished for his actions. The courts will look at many factors, including the gross profits of the company, the nature of the discrimination, and whether the employer has done this before. The more of a punishment needed to teach the employer not to act this way, the higher the damages will be.)
Filing a lawsuit does not always mean you and your case will have its day in court. The filing of a complaint and resulting lawsuit follows a process that can be as quick as six months to as long as a few years. In some cases, the other side will want to settle as soon as possible. This can occur quickly, however, many times, even a settlement process that goes through mediation will often take a few months. This is a negotiation and negotiations often go back and forth between the parties.
However, if the case cannot be settled and must go to court. The process can take a year or longer. The trial takes preparation. The goal is to try the case as quickly as possible, however, that may still be closer to a year or longer.
When being victimized in the workplace for age discrimination, sometimes, it is difficult to think logically. Many times, you just want to leave as quickly as possible and then figure it out. As much as it may not be what you want, the best thing you can do for your case is to stay at your job. If you have not been fired or quit, then stay employed with the company. This will help your case tremendously. Some other things you can do are:
- Start to gather evidence. Document everything, such as what was said or done, who was involved, when it happened, and who witnessed it, if anyone
- If your company has an HR department or outsourced firm, report the discrimination immediately
- If your company has an internal policy to deal with age discrimination, follow the policy’s procedure and document the steps you took to do so
- Contact a lawyer specializing in workplace age discrimination.
If you are a victim of employment age discrimination in Miami, we want to hear from you. Call the Derek Smith Law Group today at (305) 946-1884 for a free consultation. We never collect any money unless you win.
Types of Workplace Discrimination Cases We Handle in Miami:
- Race Discrimination
- Color Discrimination
- National Origin Discrimination
- Religion Discrimination
- Disability Discrimination
- Pregnancy Discrimination
- Gender or Sex Discrimination
- Sexual Orientation Discrimination
- Genetic Information Discrimination
- Equal Pay/Compensation Discrimination
- Ethnic Discrimination
- LGBT Discrimination
- Hair Discrimination