AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT (ADEA)

Most, if not all, employment relationships start off with good intentions where both the employee and business owner or manager believe that there is a good fit. However, in some instances, time can show that this match wasn’t quite as well-suited as was initially thought.

older woman pointing finger

In all professional situations — but especially in those where an employment relationship appears as if it may not work out in the long-term — the employer must be extremely cautious and adhere to employment best practices in order to protect the business and reduce its exposure to financial liability.  If an employer fails to implement measures of this type, the risk of an adverse employment action lawsuit increases greatly.

The attorneys of Bellatrix PC can review your business and employment practices, assess your risks, and provide actionable solutions to your legal concerns with our employer protection package.  We have years of experience handling age discrimination matters on behalf of entities ranging from small tech start-ups, to family-owned businesses, to large corporations.  In addition to defending business entities against age-based lawsuits, Bellatrix PC also handles related discrimination lawsuits including but not limited to the following:

We can guide you through the mediation or arbitration process, or, if litigation becomes necessary, advocate aggressively for your company in court.  To begin discussing your options in a confidential legal consultation, call Bellatrix PC today at (800) 449-8992.

Laws Against Age Discrimination in the Workplace

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, or ADEA, applies to all workers aged 40 and older.  The ADEA was enacted for two primary purposes:

  1. To promote the employment of older persons based on their ability rather than age.
  2. To prohibit discrimination against workers over 40.

The ADEA states that is against federal law to discriminate solely because of  the age of an individual.  This protection against age-based discriminatory practices extends to any and all terms, conditions, and privileges that attach to one’s employment.  This can include employment-related compensation, hiring, firing, layoffs and workforce reductions, promotions, benefits, bonuses, training program, and types of job assignments.

Like all laws regarding employment, the ADEA was created with the intention of protecting workers while improving employer-employee relations.  However, sometimes the law can result in unintended consequences when adverse employment actions are perceived incorrectly.

For example, consider this common scenario: an employee is terminated due to poor performance, or because of a company-wide reduction in the workforce. However, this former employee believes the true underlying reason behind the termination was his or her age.  Believing themselves to be a victim of workplace discrimination, the former employee then speaks to a lawyer and files a workplace discrimination lawsuit under the ADEA.  Potential remedies for the employee under the ADEA can include reinstatement and back pay, or monetary damages if reinstatement is not feasible.

EEOC Enforcement of the ADEA

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, is the federal agency charged with enforcing the provisions of ADEA.  The protections provided by the ADEA make it unlawful to engage in discriminatory practices, which the EEOC penalizes heavily.

The following represent some common hypothetical examples of discriminatory practices in the workplace:

  • Retaliation for an employee’s participation of an investigation into discriminatory practices.
  • Harassment of an individual due to his or her membership in a protected class, such as age, race, skin color, gender, religion, disability, genetic information, national origin, or disability.
  • Denying training and advancement opportunities to an individual solely because of his or her age, or other protected grounds.
  • Employment decisions based on age-related stereotypes, often related to technology.

In addition to already considerable federal protections, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, or FEHA, also prohibits age discrimination on a state level. The provisions of FEHA apply to most employers with five or more employees, subject to certain exceptions.  Employees who are protected by FEHA can sue employers for:

  • Direct acts of discrimination, such as being demoted or terminated because of age.
  • Claims pertaining to retaliation for complaining about age discrimination.

Contact Our Employment Law Attorneys

If your business has been served with an age discrimination lawsuit, Bellatrix PC’s experienced legal team may be able to help.  Our business defense lawyers have extensive experience handling a wide variety of employment discrimination claims, including matters such as:

  • Employer Retaliation
  • Failure to Hire
  • Failure to Promote
  • Harassment
  • Hostile Work Environment
  • Wrongful Termination

We will carefully investigate the details of the claim and present your business with a tailored, strategic defense plan, while always keeping your bottom line and long-term objectives in mind.

Our legal team is also prepared to advise employers on how to efficiently handle difficult legal areas in the workplace. By taking basic preventative measures today, you can significantly reduce the likelihood that discrimination claims and lawsuits will arise in the future, thus saving your business money in the long run by preemptively avoiding time-consuming and costly litigation.

Whether you have been already been served with an age discrimination lawsuit, or are simply looking to reduce your company’s potential employment liability, the business attorneys of Bellatrix PC may be able to assist.  To arrange for a private legal consultation, call our law offices at (800) 449-8992 today.