There are many factors that go into making personnel decisions. An individual’s skill, experience, and motivation can all play a major role in deciding whether to hire, fire, or promote an individual. However, employers need to be careful that they are not basing their decisions on characteristics that would be deemed discriminatory in nature. Doing so could lead to legal action that can be damaging to a business’s finances and reputation.
Deciphering discriminatory acts isn’t always easy, however. For example, federal law prevents an employer from discriminating against an individual based on age, but only under certain circumstances. Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, an employee or potential employee is protected from age discrimination only if they are over 40. There are no protections for those who are younger than 40. Also, the federal law only works to protect workers from being discriminated against for being too old, not for being too young.
This prohibition on age discrimination reaches every aspect of employment, too. This includes hiring, promoting, and firing, as well as the determination of pay, allocation of training, and the extent of benefits provided to an employee. Employers also need to make sure they are cognizant of any age-based harassment occurring in their workplace and put a stop to it. This harassment can take many forms, including derogatory comments, and can come from anyone in the workplace.
Dealing with allegations of age discrimination can be worrisome, whether you are the individual who has been discriminated against or an employer who has been accused of such practices. After all, there can be a lot at stake. With this in mind, many people who find themselves in these situations choose to seek out competent legal guidance from an employment law attorney who can zealously advocate for them.