If you are an employee who has endured mistreatment because of your age, you do not need to suffer in silence or be afraid of retaliation from your employer. Federal and state laws specifically forbid age discrimination.
Learning the facts about discrimination based on your age may enable you to have the courage to address your situation.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits age discrimination against individuals who are at least 40 years old.
The law forbids employment discrimination, including in the following areas:
- Hiring and firing
- Salary and wages
- Job assignments
The ADEA also prohibits harassment of an employee because of age, including:
- Derogatory comments about a person’s age
- Frequent or severe teasing and comments
- A hostile work environment resulting from unrelenting references to an employee’s age
- Adverse employment decisions such as termination or demotion
New York law
The New York State Human Rights Law applies to employers with four or more employees. New York law protects employees from age discrimination in employment areas such as:
- Apprentice and training programs
- Promotions and termination
- Refusal to hire or promote an employee
- Termination of an individual because of age
- Salary inequality
- Use of application forms that reference, directly or indirectly, any limitations because of age
Age discrimination can often be a series of subtle words and inappropriate actions. If you are experiencing unfavorable treatment because of your age, understanding your rights as an employee can encourage you to exercise your rights under the law.