The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects Kentucky workers who are 40 and older. If this law protects you, an employer cannot make employment decisions based solely on your age. Furthermore, the law offers protections to older workers who are applying for a job.
What is age discrimination?
Age discrimination occurs when an employer singles out an older worker for disparate treatment. For instance, a manager might decide to give a promotion to a younger employee even though you are more qualified for the job. Discrimination might also occur if you receive a demotion, are asked to take a pay cut or are forced into early retirement despite being in good standing with your employer.
How do you prove age discrimination?
Discrimination based on age can be difficult to prove because the law gives companies significant leeway to hire, transfer and terminate workers. However, it may be possible to indirectly prove that an employer treated you differently than your colleagues because of your age. For instance, you might be able to use employment records to show that your employer has routinely denied promotions or the opportunity to attend seminars or conferences to workers over the age of 55. It may also be possible to point to the language used in job postings as evidence that your employer is attempting to show favor to younger employees.
How to pursue a discrimination claim
If you think that your employer has unfairly treated you, it may be a good idea to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC will conduct an investigation to determine if any employment law violations occurred. If there is reason to believe that someone violated your rights, it may be possible to seek compensation in a settlement or by filing a lawsuit.
Employers may take a variety of steps to justify taking inappropriate action that may sabotage your career. An attorney may be able to help you hold a company accountable for its actions and ensure that you’re treated fairly in the workplace.