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Understanding the basics of age discrimination

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects older workers from age discrimination in the workplace. It is worth noting that this law only protects workers aged 40 and older from illegal discriminatory practices. Although some state laws protect young workers from discrimination based on youth, federal law only protects older workers from age discrimination.

There is no one kind of age discrimination. It may manifest in many forms from wrongful termination to an unreasonable failure to promote. It may be disguised as isolation from group activities or an unwillingness to pay an older worker at the same rate as younger workers. Whatever form it takes, illegal age discrimination is something that the law protects against.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, more than 23,000 complaints of age discrimination were filed with the agency during 2013. This evidence proves that if you have been made a target of age discrimination, you are not alone. If you are experiencing discrimination that is either so common or severe that your work environment has been made hostile or if you have been either demoted or fired as a result of your age, you are protected under the law.

If you are unsure of whether or not your situation constitutes age discrimination, please consider speaking with an attorney experienced in employment law. Similarly, if you have blatantly become a target of age discrimination, please consider standing up for your rights with the assistance of an experienced attorney. The law protects you from illegal treatment but the law cannot aid you unless you act.

Source: Pay Scale, "What You Don't Know About Age Discrimination," Dan Kalish, Nov. 14, 2014

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