Attorneys at Law

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Be informed.

Does Age Matter in Employment Decisions?

A Plymouth Meeting employment discrimination attorney can provide you with help if your employer took impermissible factors into account when deciding whether to hire, fire, or promote you. While employees work at will and employers have broad leeway in employment choices, employers are not allowed to discriminate in terms and conditions of employment on the basis of someone's protected status. 

There are lots of different things that employers are not allowed to consider because of anti-discrimination laws. One of the things that employers may be prohibited from considering is your age. Age-related discrimination is unlawful under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and it can have serious consequences.

However, not every situation where age discrimination occurs is actionable. A Plymouth meeting employment discrimination attorney at Curley & Rothman, LLC can help you to determine if the age discrimination in your particular situation can result in a claim for damages. Give us a call today to find out more.

Should Age Matter in Employment Decisions?

When an employer is making hiring decisions, an employer generally should not take age into account. However, the only legal protections that exist are designed to prevent discrimination against older workers. There is no law that prohibits an employer from refusing to hire people on the basis of the fact that the employer believes that the person is too young. There is a law prohibiting an employer from refusing to hire someone on the basis that he is too old.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) explains the law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of age. The law is called the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and it was passed in 1967. The Act was signed into law in recognition of the fact that older workers found themselves disadvantaged if they needed to find a new job. Employers were arbitrarily setting age limits on jobs, which made it harder for older employees to find new work and which contributed to high rates of unemployment.

In order to stop this discriminatory behavior against older workers, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act makes it unlawful for employers to “fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s age.”

Employers are also not allowed to segregate or classify employees on the basis of age in a way that would adversely affect employment opportunities for older workers. In fact, both employers and labor unions are prohibited in any way from discriminating in terms or conditions of employment, or in any employment decisions, on the basis of age.

The law protects workers aged 40 or over, so employees who have reached this age should not be treated differently or have any employment opportunities affected due to their advanced age. Employees who are younger do not have recourse, as this law protects older people only.

When Can You Take Action for Age Discrimination?

If you are the victim of any type of age discrimination when you are 40 or over, you should be able to take legal action and seek compensation for damages. This includes not only situations where employers outright refused to hire you or promote you, but also cases where job-related tests have a disparate impact on older workers as well as situations where you are subject to a hostile work environment as a result of your advanced age.

There are some very limited exceptions. For example, if an employer imposes a condition on getting a job which happens to disqualify more older workers, this is not actionable discrimination if there is a bona fide legitimate reason why the test is necessary. An attorney can help you to determine if you can take action for age discrimination on the basis of your particular situation.

Getting Help from a Plymouth Meeting Employment Discrimination Attorney

Because there are situations where age discrimination is unlawful and other situations where age can be considered, it can be difficult for older employees to know if they have legal grounds for action. Curley & Rothman, LLC can help. Our legal team can assist you in determining if you were victimized by unlawful discrimination. If you were treated inappropriately, a Plymouth Meeting employment discrimination attorney at our firm can help you to explore all possible legal options for recovering compensation and damages for resulting losses.

To learn more about age discrimination and what to do if your age has affected your career opportunities, give us a call at 610-834-8819 or contact us today to schedule your consultation .