Ways to combat age discrimination at work

According to a report from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, age discrimination is still occurring despite the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The law prevents employers in Tennessee and throughout the country from discriminating based on age against those who are 40 or older. Acts that could be considered discriminatory include mandatory retirement policies, improper termination and improper hiring practices. In addition to EEOC enforcement, 49 states have their own law to protect against age discrimination at work.

The EEOC report mentions that the workforce in the United States is both getting larger and getting older. Therefore, enforcement of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act will become more important in coming years. It is also worth noting that more complaints are being raised by women and employees of color. The EEOC says that there are several ways in which employers can limit the impact of age discrimination within their own companies.

For instance, businesses can have younger workers mentoring older workers to help dispel stereotypes of how older people function at work. It can also be a good idea to refrain from asking for dates of birth on a job application. Employers can benefit by focusing on the ability level of an employee as opposed to his or her age when making employment decisions.

Individuals who feel as if they were terminated, demoted or otherwise treated improperly based on their age may wish to pursue legal action against an employer. Federal law prohibits age discrimination, and victims may be entitled to compensation or other relief. An attorney may review a case to determine if discrimination occurred. An attorney might use statements from managers or review hiring records to establish that age was unlawfully used to determine who would receive opportunities for development within a company.

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