If you're over the age of 40, you benefit from protection under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Under the provisions of this federal law, employers cannot discriminate against employees on the basis of their ages if the employee is 40 years of age or older.
The ADEA protects employees during all stages of employment, from advertising for a position, to hiring, to firing, to promotions and pay. It even applies to apprenticeship programs.
Here are the most important protections offered by the ADEA to employees who are at least 40 years of age:
-- No discrimination on the basis of age during applications, interviews, promotions, hiring, firing, termination and layoffs.
-- No age discrimination is allowed when advertising for a specific position.
-- No age discrimination when making decisions about compensation, discipline, evaluations.
-- Employers are prohibited from reducing an employee's health and life insurance benefits on the basis of age.
-- Employers cannot force older employees into taking an early retirement.
-- Employers are prohibited from retaliating against any worker who files an age discrimination complaint, testifies about age discrimination regarding him or herself or another employee or participating in an investigation regarding age discrimination.
If your employer is currently discriminating against you because of your age -- and you are 40 years of age or older, you might want to learn more about your legal rights and options under the ADEA. You may have legal options at your disposal to seek justice and financial restitution for the harm, lost income and lost opportunities that the age discrimination has caused.