Age discrimination AT WORK

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) prohibits covered employers from discriminating against employees over 40 years old in the terms and conditions of employment. In over two decades practicing in the field of employment law, I have noticed that age discrimination claims surface more frequently than any other type of discrimination. 


Here are some examples of evidence from cases I’ve handled that suggested age discrimination: 

    • Firing an executive in his 60’s and replacing him with someone in their 30’s.

    • Asking an employee about intentions to retire in the near future.

    • Telling an employee that they are “too old” to recruit younger people.

    • Using ageist references when referring to an employee (grandma, grampa, old timer, etc.).

    • Disciplining an older worker, but not taking the same measures against a younger employee under the same or similar circumstances.

    • Asking older employees to find and/or train their replacements.

    • Upper management/executives making statements that the company needs to attract younger employees.

    • A manager expressing that he was disappointed when an older employee had not yet retired.

    • Filling positions with only younger individuals while overlooking older employees / candidates who are more qualified.
    • A new manager terminating an older employee for not being a “good fit” with the company and hiring a substantially younger replacement.

You should note the following when considering bringing an age discrimination claim:

    • The ADEA only applies to employers with 20 or more employees.
        • If the company has less than 20 employees, check your state’s law to see if it offers similar protections that would cover the employer at issue.
    • The ADEA does not apply to employees who are under 40 years old.
    • The ADEA also protects employees from retaliation for complaining about age discrimination to their employer, filing an EEOC Charge and/or participating in another employee’s claim of age discrimination.
    • An ADEA claim must go through the EEOC process before filing a lawsuit.
    • Damages can include back pay, front pay, “liquidated damages,” attorneys’ fees and costs of litigation.
        • You cannot get “compensatory damages” (sometimes referred to as “pain & suffering” or “emotional distress”), which are available under other discrimination laws.

If you believe that age discrimination has affected your employment


This web site (including links, blogs or other content) is provided for informational purposes only and is not to be considered as legal advice.  Any interaction through this web site, including but not limited to any comments or the submission of a consultation request, does not create an expressed or implied attorney-client relationship. 

Share this:

Like this:

Like Loading...
Skip to content
%d bloggers like this: