If you are feeling singled out at your job because you are older than those you work with, or if you lost your job because of your age, you may be a victim of age discrimination. Age discrimination is a frequent complaint as a large amount of the population is reaching retirement age. If you think you have been a victim of age discrimination, you have rights that can help you. You may even want to hire an age discrimination law attorney. The following are some things you should know if you are not treated lawfully:
You Have ADEA Protection
ADEA, or the Age Discrimination in Employment Act is the first step in fighting age discrimination. This federal law states that any employer cannot fire, fail to hire, or treat you in any way different than others who work with you because of how old you are. ADEA protects all employees, but has some rules regarding the size of your company. Your state also has laws to protect you as well.
What You Need to Do Next
If you believe you have been a victim of age discrimination, the first step is to speak to your human resources department to file a grievance. If you do not feel the grievance made an impact, you can then call the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This will be filed according with the federal government and will let you know if you also should file with your state.
When you file with the EEOC, you have to provide the information for any witnesses, your notes or logs of incidents or comments made to you which you feel are discriminatory, and any other pertinent information. The EEOC will look at your compliant and determine if discrimination happened. The EEOC will call you with their findings. If the findings are true, they will issue a notice of right to sue. This allows you to sue your employer in court.
Suing Your Employer
If you decide to move forward with a lawsuit, you need to secure an attorney who specializes in age discrimination cases. He or she will then further investigate and file a claim against your employer. If you don't want to go to court, you have the option to go through mediation. This is a process where you can work with your employer to work out your disputes and come to an agreement. During the mediation, you will show your evidence, your employer does the same, and the mediator provides his or her input on how the case should settle.