Articles » Combat Ageism Through Age Discrimination in Employment Act or (ADEA)

Combat Ageism Through Age Discrimination in Employment Act or (ADEA)

Tags: Attorneys, Worker's Compensation, Business Law


Today, though employers are making diversity inclusive, yet three out of five employees in the US still face discrimination based on race, gender, age, or sexual orientation. This is based on a Glassdoor survey which also emphasizes that the problem is not just limited to the US, but is a global concern.

In this article, we shall be discussing specifics about discrimination due to age and the legal options you can avail in the face of such issues under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA).


Age discrimination in workstation

The ADEA forbids age discrimination for people of 40 or older. It does not protect the interest of people below 40. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act applies to:

  1. Employment agencies.
  2. A company with at least 20 employees.
  3. A labor organization with at least 25 members.
  4. Federal, state and local governments.

The ADEA doesn't protect military personnel and freelancers.


Signs that you are facing age-based discrimination

How to know that you are a victim? Here are the 10 distinct signs that will help you recognize if you are the one or if someone known to you is a victim.

1. Hearing age-related remarks or insults

Some comments from seniors or employers may lead to a line of harassment. If you remain silent, this can lead to a bigger issue.

2. Witnessing a pattern of hiring only younger people

If there is an age-related hiring pattern in your company, this may cause you trouble after some time. Often employers don't say it, but they hire young workers with a misconception that the latter has better knowledge, capacity, and social ability.

An employer using the term "overqualified" may also be a sign of age discrimination.

3. If your promotion is overlooked

Getting turned down for a promotion that went to someone younger and less qualified signals as age-based discrimination.

4. If ignored for challenging works

When an employer removes challenging work or projects from you and offers them to someone younger just because of the age difference, that is an act of discriminating.

5. When you are encouraged to retire

Often we hear companies offering retirement packages to employees which becomes hard to deny. Also, if an employee doesn't take the offer and does not retire, it is unclear if yet the company can go ahead and fire from the job.

6. When your job position is eliminated

Suppose your employer tells you that your position is eliminated but hires a younger person to work in the same job role but with a different title, is possibly a case of age discrimination.


How can employers help prevent age-based discrimination?


Reframe your interview process

Certain questions are not apt for a healthy interview process, like asking age, plans about marriage, and having children, and when they hope to retire. These topics must not be part of a job interview.

Reexamine existing policies and rules

There can be chances of the indirect practice of age discrimination, so you need to review the grey areas, maybe during recruitment, in sick leave policies, and during training.

Create policies

Employers must make rules and define how company leaders must address situations and ensure that every employee is aware of the policies.

Enable non-discriminatory practices

There can be various instances of age-based discrimination may happen, with intent or without. So it is suggested to hire an employment lawyer to make sure that the company's policies are legally compliant.

Find a lawyer in your state and discuss the legal aspects, either as an employer or an employee. Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) is a huge subject, and you will need the help of an expert always.