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We Help Workers Fight Age Discrimination

There are many forms of age discrimination. An employer may intentionally work to weed out the older generation of workers to cut wage costs. Age discrimination can also be subtle. For example, an employer might try to hire younger workers in an effort to bring “energy,” “young blood” or other youthful qualities to the workplace. Whether intentional or unintentional, age discrimination is prohibited under state and federal law. If you believe you have been discriminated against as a result of your age, speak with an attorney at NachtLaw. We can help you understand your rights under the law, explain your options and, if appropriate, help you pursue a claim against your current or former employer in Michigan. Contact us to schedule a confidential consultation with an age discrimination attorney at our Toledo, Ann Arbor, Birmingham or Traverse City office.

Age Discrimination Prohibited Under State And Federal Law

Under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967, employers are prohibited from job discrimination against an employee based on his or her age. Federal age discrimination law protects older employees—aged 40 and over—from being fired, demoted, denied a job promotion or otherwise discriminated against in the workplace on the basis of their age. Furthermore, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990 (OWBPA) ensures that older employees receive employee benefits equal in cost and scope to those that younger employees receive.

Under Michigan state law, age discrimination has no minimum age; even so-called “reverse discrimination” against younger employees is also illegal. When age plays a factor in job termination issues, both federal and state laws are implicated.

Age discrimination claims often overlap with disability issues. Sometimes, there is a perception of a disability motivating job termination decisions against an older worker. Older workers can be targeted to be fired because of assumptions about their abilities on the job, because of medical leave requests or because of job accommodations they have requested. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other federal laws prohibit many of these types of job discrimination, even if the disability was merely perceived and not real.

Terms, Conditions Or Privileges Of Employment

In addition to ADEA and OWBPA, which explicitly prohibit discrimination against older workers, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, among other categories, in regard to terms, conditions or privileges of employment. Simply put, this means that employers cannot discriminate against any employee, including older employees, during any part of the employment process. This act gives older employees further protection against unlawful hiring and firing practices and discriminatory treatment in the workplace.

Nonetheless, employers routinely violate Title VII and acts specifically designed to protect older employees. Some signs that your employer may be engaging in age discrimination include:

  • Condoning insults toward older employees
  • Refusing to hire older employees
  • Refusing to promote older employees
  • Setting age limits for employees (except where a bona fide occupational qualification applies)
  • Terminating older employees in company layoffs

If you experience these or other forms of age discrimination, you should seek the assistance of an employment law attorney in filing a discrimination claim. Most discrimination claims are filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Some, though, may be filed with the Department of Labor, specifically those pertaining to federal employers and those involving programs that receive federal assistance.

Wrongful Termination Lawyers

The employment lawyers at NachtLaw are experienced in bringing discrimination claims against employers in Michigan, including cases involving complex employment litigation. To discuss your case with one of the age discrimination lawyers, contact our firm by calling 866-965-2488 to set up a consultation. NachtLaw serves clients throughout Ohio and Michigan.