Defending Against Age-Based Workplace Discrimination in Florida & Texas
Unfortunately, individuals aged 40 and older often suffer discriminatory attitudes and actions by employers in the workplace. Age-based prejudice and discrimination can be manifested in many ways, from making offensive comments about someone’s age to refusing to hire or promote them. This less favorable treatment based on age is known as age discrimination and is prohibited under the federal Age Discrimination Employment Act, known as ADEA. In Florida, it is also prohibited under the Florida Civil Rights Act as a general practice. However, where a “bona fide occupational qualification” is reasonably necessary to perform a particular job, disqualification or restrictions based on age may be allowed.
Age discrimination is a demoralizing and often de-humanizing practice. Despite its financial and emotional toll on individuals and the fact that it is prohibited by law, it still occurs in various ways in work environments. If you have experienced “ageism” as an employee or job applicant, you may have a valid claim against the offending party. The Employment Lawyers is dedicated to standing up for your employment rights. Our firm exclusively handles employment law, giving us significant experience in protecting your rights and remedying violations of age-related workplace laws.
Your Rights Under the ADEA
The ADEA as well as the Florida Civil Rights Act prohibit discrimination in all aspects of employment.
- Job advertisements
- Job assignments
- Job evaluations
- Pay rates
If any employment policy or practice has a disproportionate negative effect on older employees, it can be considered a violation of the ADEA as ruled by the U.S. Supreme Court. Not only does the Act protect older workers from being disfavored over younger workers, it also prohibits discrimination among older workers. An example of this would be an employer hiring a 40 year-old instead of a 50 year-old based on their difference in age.
Other examples of age discrimination include pressuring an older worker to retire, denying a promotion, segregating older workers into one area or job assignment, prohibiting older workers from certain job titles or responsibilities, or making it an unwritten policy to hire and favor younger employees.
It is also illegal to engage in harassment against an individual in the workplace based on his or her age. Harassment can include offensive comments, visual materials, office emails, and any activity intended to demean an individual because of age. When harassment becomes so severe or persistent that it creates a hostile work environment, it becomes actionable. Anyone in the work environment can be the harasser, from a supervisor to a co-worker or even a customer.
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