Age discrimination is a common issue that prevents many hardworking individuals from advancing or continuing in their career. Though more prevalent in some industries than others, it can affect anyone as their career progresses, often in subtle ways. If you suspect you’ve been the victim of age discrimination on the job, you have rights you should familiarize yourself with. Age discrimination is illegal and taking steps to speak out against it is important not only to protect your future but to prevent others from going through similar treatment.
McCarthy Weisberg Cummings, P.C.’s age discrimination lawyers have represented victims of ageism on the job and know what it takes to mount a successful case against a discriminatory employer.
What Is Age Discrimination?
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), passed in 1967, sets out provisions that protect the on-the-job rights of anyone over 40. The act specifies that age cannot be a primary factor in decisions regarding hiring, promotions, training or salary. Older adult workers cannot be fired on the basis of age; as well, they cannot be given unfavorable work assignments or other harsh conditions designed to force them into retirement. In many cases, discrimination based on age will not be explicit — it can be as simple as a set of attitudes and preconceived notions about an employee’s capacity and willingness to take on new responsibilities that leads to their career stagnating.
Why Do Employers Discriminate Based on Age?
Many of us were taught to respect our elders and value their experience. However, on the job the reality is often far different. Hiring managers often see older adults as unable to keep up with new technology. They also believe that younger, less experienced employees will be easier to exploit or more willing to accept a lower salary. When it’s necessary for a business to make budget cuts, long-time workers who are closer to retirement are often considered more expendable than those mid-career.
It’s important to remember that age discrimination does not always involve a younger manager and an older employee. Any form of preferential treatment given to a younger candidate or staff member is illegal under the ADEA — you can be discriminated against based on age by someone as old or even older than you.
Filing an Age Discrimination Complaint
Because non-contract employees don’t have to be given a formal cause for termination in Pennsylvania, more work is necessary to demonstrate that the decision was made based on age. Work with an attorney who understands the steps involved and can devote the necessary time to produce the best results for you.
The first step in mounting a successful case is to contact an age discrimination attorney who understands the ADEA and Pennsylvania employment law. With over 40 years of combined experience, the team at McCarthy Weisberg Cummings, P.C. may be able to help. We offer a free consultation to anyone who suspects age may have been a factor in their termination or other work-related issue. We will review your case and give you an honest assessment of your options. Contact our office to book your appointment today.