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What Every Senior Needs to Know About Their Rights in the Workplace

Elder Fraud is a Growing Problem

There are countless seniors today who play a vital role in the workforce. Unfortunately, there are many aging myths out there that suggest seniors are unable to work as well, as hard or as often as younger adults. These myths are not only completely false, but they can sometimes perpetuate acts of age discrimination.

This is why it is so important for every senior to know their rights in the workplace. Particularly, what the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) covers in this country.

What is the ADEA?

The ADEA is a law that was enacted to protect older adults in the workplace. Specifically, the ADEA prohibits the following:

  • Discrimination in hiring, promoting, setting wages for or terminating employees based on their age
  • Putting out advertisements or job notices that state age preferences or limitations either directly or indirectly (i.e. a wanted ad can’t specifically ask for employees under a certain age)
  • Implementing mandatory retirements (in most sectors)
  • Denying benefits to older employees
  • Changing policies that only negatively impact older employees
  • Harassment in the workplace based on age

These acts are illegal under the ADEA. The goal of this act is to not only protect seniors in the workplace, but to make sure older adults who are applying to jobs get a fair opportunity for employment.

Other Laws Protecting Seniors in the Workplace

Seniors in the workplace not only have rights covered by the ADEA, but there are other laws protecting their rights as well. In March 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that employers could not discriminated against an employee based on their age. There are also many state laws put in place that can help protect seniors, as well as the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which is in charge of federal laws regarding the discrimination of job applicants based on a number of factors, such as age.

Knowing Your Rights: When Your Rights Are Being Violated

If you are a working senior, and notice the following issues with your employer, then they may be violating your rights. It is important that if you feel you are a victim of age discrimination in the workplace that you find an attorney to help you. They will not only let you know your rights but let you know if you have a legal case on your hands. You may be entitled to compensation, depending on your situation and the type of discrimination you dealt with.

If you have faced the following challenges in the workplace, then you may be facing age discrimination:

  • You are being forced to retire earlier than you want to.
  • You have been fired because your employer thinks you are too old for the job.
  • Managers, bosses or fellow employers in your company have mocked you based on your age.
  • You have proof you have been overlooked for a raise or promotion based entirely on your age.
  • You didn’t get hired because a potential employer states they wanted a younger-looking person for the job.
  • You were fired because your employer wanted to keep on younger workers who are paid less on the team.
  • Before you were fired, your boss made a comment about your age, indicating they had a problem about it.

As a senior, you have the right to continue working in your job or to get a new job, even if you are “older.” Your age shouldn’t prevent you from having a career and making a living. It is simply important that you understand your rights and understand that you are protected from discrimination.

For additional information contact Lori Thomas at Senior Advice

Guest blog posted by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage, on August 9, 2018. Visit Steve’s website and sign up for his newsletter.