Jose A. Gonzalez
Your age and your right to work
You may not be as young as you once were, but that has no bearing on whether you can still work. Your mind and body are perfectly capable of the physical and mental requirements of regular employment, and you should not experience harassment or discrimination simply because you are older. There are even laws in place that prohibit age discrimination.
Despite these things, age discrimination still happens. It's unfortunate, but older California employees and prospective job applicants often find they experience unfair treatment simply because of their age. If this happened to you, you do not have to simply endure it and hope that you are able to find another job somewhere else. It's not just a part of getting older – it's against the law, and you have the right to fight back.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act is a federal law that prohibits employers from using a person's age as a basis for unfair treatment, harassment or important employment decisions. There are other federal statutes and state laws that also offer protection to you, but some of the specific ways that the ADEA can benefit you include the following:
- When advertising for open positions, hiring companies can only list age as a qualification if it is a valid reason based on the genuine requirements of the job.
- Employers cannot force their employees to retire early.
- Employers cannot use a person's age as a factor when hiring, firing, promoting or making other important decisions.
- Employers cannot reduce the benefits of workers when they get older, and they cannot fire older workers when downsizing simply because they are older.
If you believe you are the victim of discrimination the basis of your age, you have the right to speak up and hold your employer accountable for what happened to you. It may be appropriate to take legal action to shield your interests, keep your job and make the unfair treatment stop.
As a victim of age discrimination, you may wonder what's next. It can help to start with a complete evaluation of your case in order to learn if what you experienced may qualify as grounds to take legal action. As soon as you think there is a problem, you will find great benefit in working with an attorney experienced in these types of cases who can help you move forward with the appropriate course of action.