Over the last several years, we have all seen quite a bit of news coverage about discrimination in the workplace, particularly when it comes to gender discrimination and sexual harassment. It can be easy to forget that there are all kinds of other types of discrimination that might occur in the workplace as well. For our older readers, age discrimination may be at the forefront.
So, what should our readers in Florida know about age discrimination? Well, as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission notes on their website, not all workers are protected from age discrimination by federal law. In fact, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, “ADEA,” only protects workers who are over 40 years of age. This federal law prohibits age discrimination against workers over that age. Some states have their own laws too.
What is it?
What is age discrimination? What does it look like in the workplace? As the EEOC notes, age discrimination can come in several forms, just like other types of discrimination. For example, harassing someone because of age can constitute discrimination, with such harassment including derogatory remarks or offensive comments. But, simple teasing probably isn’t discrimination, and it is important to remember that to constitute discrimination, frequency and severity of the harassment or offensive conduct must be considered. Passing over someone who is older in favor of a younger worker for promotions is another example of age discrimination.
Many employers do their best to avoid discrimination of any kind, including age discrimination. However, sometimes even the best policies and procedures cannot stop the actions of certain individuals. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination in your workplace, you may need to have your legal options analyzed.