When companies downsize their workforce and lay off staff, they sometimes target the older employees first. If your employer offers a severance agreement following staff layoffs, it is crucial to have an age discrimination lawyer review the agreement before appending your signature. The Older Workers Benefits Protection Act has various requirements for a waiver for age discrimination rights to come into force.
Age discrimination happens when an employer fires, demotes, lays off, fails to hire, or denies a person promotion due to their age. It is illegal in Pittsburgh and under federal law. 40 years and above are a protected class against discrimination in the workplace. Discrimination laws often differ with regards to time frames but are usually very short. In this article, we explore age discrimination and see what the law says then show you what steps to take if you are a victim of an adverse employment decision.
What is Age Discrimination?
Under federal and state laws, age discrimination is any employment action or decision that an employer makes against workers who are 40 years of age or older. Employment discrimination usually covers various aspects of work including hiring, firing, compensation, benefits, job assignments, training, and promotions. The law prohibits your employer from retaliating against you for opposing unfair employment practices that discriminate against you due to your age. Or retaliating for filing an age discrimination claim. It is also illegal for your employer to terminate your employment because they feel that your benefits are costly and make negative age-related remarks.
What Victims of Age Discrimination Should Do?
Age discrimination is something you should never tolerate. If you are a victim of age discrimination under federal law, it is important to talk to an experienced attorney who understands state and federal laws. A lawyer can explain your rights under the act and what steps to take if your employer openly discriminates against you. They can also help determine if you have been a victim of age discrimination as an older employee.
If your company fired you and hired a younger employee, you can file a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provided you are 40 years or older. You have to file the age discrimination claims within six months or be barred from pursuing the claim in Pittsburgh pa. Consult a discrimination lawyer at J.P. Ward Associates to protect your rights. The supreme court has previously determined many employment discrimination cases and ruled in favor of the federal employees. If your claim is successful at the local court, you may be entitled to recover:
- Job reinstatement
- A promotion
- Back pay or future pay for termination
- Other damages
Federal Law Against Discrimination – Age Discrimination in Employment Act
Signed into law in 1967, the age discrimination in employment act (ADEA) is a federal law that offers protections for older workers. ADEA prohibits employers from discriminating against workers who are 40 years old or older and protects these workers in all aspects of employment including:
Hiring: Employers may not say that they prefer a certain age or use age as a hiring criterion during recruitment. The law also prohibits them from asking about a candidate’s age. Older employees are not to be compelled to retire except under limited circumstances, or a bona fide occupational qualification, and age may not be a determining factor for work-related actions.
Layoffs: Employment practices that have a disparate impact on the older workers are considered discriminatory unless they are made for a “reasonable factor other than age”. In Pittsburgh and under federal laws, employees who are 40 years old and above are protected from discriminatory layoffs. Workers who suffer discrimination during layoffs can file claims.
Firing: ADEA forbids employers from using age as a criterion for firing decisions as well as other job-related actions. The law applies to employers who have at least 20 workers or labor organizations with no less than 25 members.
Promotions: Under federal law, workers who are 40 years or older are protected against job promotion discrimination in the areas of job requirements, job classification, false assumptions, and accrual of seniority. Employers must present applicants with the same job requirements relating to their positions and must not exclude members of a certain age in favor of younger workers. Employers are prohibited from basing job promotions on the workers’ age or stereotypes.
Employment law also forbids any employment decisions that affect the rate of pay, raises, training and benefits of 40-year-old employees in Pittsburgh pa. Any discrimination in the workplace based on the employee’s age or age limitations often creates sufficient grounds for legal claims at a federal court.
Other Laws Against Age Discrimination
The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act prohibits employment practices that discriminate against workers based on age. It protects employees, independent contractors, and job applications who are 40 years or above. The At covers both private and public employers. The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 (OWBPA) amended the ADEA to specifically prohibit companies from denying older employees benefits.
Common Damages for Age Discrimination
Despite the fact that Pennsylvania and other states have anti-age discrimination laws, discrimination based on age seems rife and persistent, often necessitating legal action. The age discrimination lawyers at J.P. Ward Associates law office are experienced in litigating age discrimination cases. If you have suffered age discrimination, you may recover money or damages for any losses you have incurred including:
- Lost earning potential
- Lost wages or back pay
- Lost benefits
- Punitive damages
- Pain and suffering
- Legal fees
The courts can order your employer to pay back lost wages because they asked you to leave, forced you to retire early, or terminated your contract before the retirement date. In most cases, the employer is required to pay for lost earning potential where an employee’s growth was stunted due to age discrimination by the employer. Such actions can be devastating for a 40-year-old employee who must start afresh at a new company. The courts may compel your employer to pay your legal fees, as part of their judgment for your age discrimination case, and punitive damages act as a warning to other companies with employment discrimination practices.
Have a complaint? Hire age discrimination attorneys in Pittsburgh
If you believe you are a victim of age discrimination at the workplace or have suffered adverse employment decisions such as layoffs or harassment or termination or denial of promotion in favor of younger employees, due to your age, you can file a claim. J.P. Ward Associates has outstanding lawyers who fight for the rights of older persons who are treated differently or forced into early retirement or experienced age discrimination that has led to wrongful termination. We know how frequently older workers in Pittsburgh pa 15219 encounter discrimination due to their ages. Our law firm has handled numerous age discrimination cases, where an older worker was denied health benefits or forced to work in a hostile work environment. Our law office and super lawyers have received peer recognition for their exceptional work against adverse employers’ actions. Contact the age discrimination attorney at 708-460-9300 today for a free consultation.