If you believe that you have been discriminated against at work based on your age, you need to act fast to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Age discrimination is illegal; the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) offers protection for employees and job applicants aged 40 and above from discrimination on the basis of their age, but there is a limited time to file a claim so it is very important to act quickly. In order to receive a favorable outcome in your age discrimination, it is imperative that you gather together as much evidence as possible surrounding the discrimination that took place.
Disparate Treatment in Regards to Age
“Disparate treatment” is an example of illegal age discrimination in United States federal labor laws. When a claim of disparate treatment is filed, the assertion is that the employer singled out one or more employees based on their age. The employee or potential employee’s age should be the primary motivating factor in the unfair treatment.
Age Discrimination Evidence to Gather
The most important component in an age discrimination lawsuit is evidence. It’s very important to gather as much evidence as possible to prove that discrimination took place.
The best form of evidence in an age discrimination lawsuit is direct evidence that proves you were fired on the basis of your age. This kind of evidence can include statements from parties involved that prove that decisions to terminate employment were based on age. It can also include examples of conduct from supervisors that demonstrate a preference to younger workers.
You can also compile a list of examples of age discrimination that took place on the job, including:
- Disparaging comments or age-related jokes
- Offensive emails
- Examples of being turned down for promotions that were given to younger workers with less experience or fewer qualifications
- A pattern of promoting younger workers over older workers.
If you have copies of your yearly job performance evaluation, this will help demonstrate your experience and the fact that someone younger and less experienced was promoted instead of you. This is very important because it shows that you were eligible for a promotion but that the promotion was given to someone younger despite your experience and solid job performance.
The more evidence you can provide to support that age discrimination took place, both direct and circumstantial, the better your chances of winning your age discrimination case. In addition to having a short window to file your claim, it’s important to gather statements as soon as possible from coworkers who might have witnessed the discrimination so that the events in question are fresh in their minds.
What Are the Chances of Winning a Discrimination Lawsuit?
Passed by the United States Congress in 1964, Title VII of the historically significant Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discriminating against workers and job candidates.
Some of the factors the law lists for worker protections include race, gender, and national origin. If you face discrimination in the workplace you have to answer the question, “What are the chances of winning a discrimination lawsuit.”
The chances of you winning a discrimination lawsuit depends on several factors. First, the legal skills of your employment attorney come into play at several points during the litigation process. Your legal counsel must gather and organize convincing evidence as well as interview the list of witnesses you provide during a free case evaluation.
An employment lawyer that possesses strong negotiation skills can help you bypass the litigation process while receiving a similar amount of compensation in the form of a settlement.
Evidence plays an important role in determining the outcome of a discrimination lawsuit. You stand a much better chance of winning your case if the evidence submitted by your legal counsel is mostly direct evidence. Submitting too much circumstantial evidence can hurt your chances of receiving a favorable verdict issued by a civil court judge.
Another factor that influences the outcome of a discrimination lawsuit refers to the amount of compensation proposed by your employment attorney. Your lawyer must submit a reasonable value for monetary damages or risk having your lawsuit dismissed by the judge.
A reasonable request for monetary damages includes covering the economic losses you suffered, as well as a well-thought-out value for punitive and non-economic damages.
Age Discrimination Examples
In 1967, the United States Congress enacted the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which protects workers from employers that base decisions on the age of both employees and job candidates. Because Title VII did not cover age discrimination, ADEA filled the legal void by declaring age discrimination to be an unlawful act.
The disproportionate hiring of younger employees is just one of many age discrimination examples. For example, an older job candidate who applies for a job with 100 employees might have a strong enough age discrimination case if the employer failed to hire the older job candidate and 80 of the company’s 100 employees are younger than 30 years old.
If you are an older worker that has not received a much-deserved promotion based on your performance, you might be a victim of age discrimination. Some employers try to save money by denying older workers raises and promotions. When a company needs to downsize for any reason, the company cannot target older workers for termination.
The Older Worker Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) prevents age discrimination when it comes to reducing the number of workers to save money.
One of the indirect forms of age discrimination occurs when an older worker feels isolated in the workplace. Isolation can include being left out of important meetings, as well as not receiving invitations to social and professional networking events. A much more direct form of age discrimination is to be the recipient of harassment at work.
How to File an Age Discrimination Lawsuit
It’s important to start gathering your evidence immediately after the offense took place because there are time limits to file your age discrimination lawsuit. You need to respond to the age discrimination. The general rule of thumb is that you have 180 calendar days to file your claim after the date the discrimination took pace.
Some states offer additional protection when it comes to age discrimination claims, and in those cases the filing deadline is extended to 300 days if the state law prohibits discrimination in the workplace on the basis of age and there is a state agency that enforces the law. If there are only laws at the city or local level against age discrimination, then the extended deadline does no apply.
When you are ready to file your lawsuit, you need to be sure you have a claim on file with the EEOC prior to filing your lawsuit for age discrimination. Your claim can be filed online, in person at your local EEOC office or by mail.
Age Discrimination Lawyers
If you believe that you have been the victim of discrimination at work due to your age, you will need to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) provides protection for employees and job applicants who are aged 40 and over who have experienced discrimination based on their age.
It is never easy winning an age discrimination violation but an age discrimination lawyer can work on your behalf to help you win your age discrimination claim. The process of filing an age discrimination claim with the EEOC and filing a lawsuit requires a lot of documentation and paperwork. This is where an age discrimination lawyer can help you with your case.
There are several ways an age discrimination lawyer may be able to help you with. These include:
- helping you to understand the laws about workplace age discrimination;
- gathering suitable evidence proving age discrimination has taken place;
- helping you file your claim;
- leading negotiations with your employer;
- representing you in court.
There are different ways age discrimination employers are paid. Sometimes they only require payment when you win, some require payment upfront and some may asked to be paid by the hour. You should discuss payment options with your age discrimination attorney before hiring one
If your age discrimination lawyer helps you to win your claim and you have been wrongfully terminated you may expect to receive back pay which is lost earnings you have suffered since your termination and front pay which is lost earnings into the future.
How an Employee Rights Lawyer Can Help
The process of filing a claim with the EEOC and filing a lawsuit for age discrimination requires a great deal of documentation and paperwork. You might consider hiring an employee rights attorney to help with your case.
An employee rights attorney can help file the charge with the EEOC prior to filing the age discrimination lawsuit, and an attorney will also know which evidence needs to be collected and whether the information you have is enough to move forward or if you need to gather additional information.
Fill out a free case evaluation form to have your case submitted to an attorney who handles employment law in your area. Some employment lawyers work on a contingency basis so that you only pay them if you win your case or they might work for an hourly rate. You should confirm the fee structure in advance.