What Is Considered Age Discrimination at Work?
Some employers mistreat employees or job applicants on the basis of their age. This is often due to their belief that older employees are not as productive as younger workers or have relevant skills for the modern workforce. However, this is an egregious assault against the value that these workers have due to their significant work experience.
According to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, it is illegal for an employer to:
- Refuse to hire an individual because of his or her age
- Discharge an employee because of their age
- Reduce the wage rate of a worker due to a person’s age
- Discriminate against any person with respect to their conditions, terms, compensation, or privileges of employment because of their age
- Classify, segregate, or limit employees in any way that deprives them of employment opportunities or otherwise negatively impacts their status as employees
- Create a job listing that specifies candidates must be a certain age to apply
- Requesting that an applicant reveal his or her age during the hiring process
The Employment Act only applies to workers who are a minimum of 40 years of age and work for a company that has at least 20 employees. Additionally, the Act also offers no provisions for “reverse” discrimination – younger employees who are discriminated by employers because of their youthfulness.
The Texas Labor Code & Age Discrimination
In addition to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Texas workers who are at least 40 years old are also protected by Chapter 21 of the Texas Labor Code. This Code applies to all employers with a minimum of 15 employees.
According to the Texas Labor Code, employers must not:
- Discriminate in any way against an older employee
- Retaliate against an employee who opposed an act of age discrimination
- Assist anyone in the commissioning of age discrimination
Compensation for Age Discrimination Victims
If you have been subjected to age discrimination in the workplace, you may be entitled to recover several forms of compensation, including:
- Lost wages
- Compensatory damages
- Punitive damages
- Attorney fees
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