As the U.S. population continues to age, many more people in the workforce, in Colorado as well as across the country, are working to a more advanced age. Not only are many people working in the same place for many years but in other cases, many job applicants are older than the ages that candidates used to be when they applied for jobs in the past.
It may be comforting to think that age discrimination (or ageism) does not exist in the workplace but sadly, that is just not true. It does exist and it comes up more and more over time. The definition of age discrimination is that it is discrimination that involves an older job applicant being treated less favorably because of their age.
Is age discrimination legal?
Age discrimination is not legal. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, or ADEA, does not allow age discrimination against people who are 40 and above. The protection of the ADEA doesn’t address people who are under age 40 but some states have specific laws to protect younger people from age discrimination. Please note; however, that it is not illegal for an employer to favor an older employee over a younger one.
It is also considered discrimination if the person who is discriminating and the person who is being discriminated against are both over the age of 40.
Age discrimination in the workplace
In the workplace, if the employer discriminates in any of the following areas, it is illegal, including hiring, firing, pay, assignment of jobs, layoffs, training, benefits and all other terms and/or conditions of employment.
Additionally, it is illegal for a person to harass another person because of their age. Included in the list of what is considered harassment are insulting remarks about the person’s age. However, although it is unpleasant to experience this, teasing, comments and isolated incidents are not considered unlawful. Harassment will only be considered illegal if it occurs frequently and creates an offensive or hostile environment at work and subsequently causes a negative outcome for the victim of the harassment.
Solid legal advice from a Colorado age discrimination attorney
If you have been on the receiving end of age discrimination at work, the advice of an experienced Colorado age discrimination attorney may really help your case. The attorney can guide you through the process and can help you ensure that you protect your rights at the same time.