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How the ADEA Protects Employees from Age Discrimination

Dec. 18, 2017

Young and elderly employees often experience age discrimination at workplace, creating difficulty for them to progress in their career and efficiently perform their job. There are several laws in place that prohibit employers from firing, promoting, hiring, or deciding the compensation of an employee based on their age. However, many employers commit age discrimination in a way that is quite difficult to determine whether their actions were based on a genuine reason or motivated by age discrimination.

Every state has enforced extensive complaint filing and fact finding procedures to allow employees evaluate when they have been discriminated based on their age. Let’s have a detailed look at how the ADEA protects employees from age discrimination and secure their rights.

Understanding the ADEA

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was introduced in 1967 and protects job applicants and employees of 40 years of age and above from age discrimination across the spectrum of employment. This federal law applies to:

  • Employment agencies

  • Employers with at least 20 workers

  • Labor organizations with 25 members or more

  • Local and state government

  • The federal government

However, it doesn’t apply to military personnel, independent contractors, or elected officials. Every state has a law for age discrimination in employment other than federal laws. These laws differ from state to state and may cover employers with fewer than 20 employees. Moreover, they may offer more robust protection for older employees than federal law.

The statute of limitations for filing complaints against employers also varies among states. In Illinois, you can file your discrimination claim with two agencies: the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is the federal administrative agency or the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR), which is the state administrative agency. The time limit for filing with the IDHR and EEOC is 180 days.

How the ADEA Safeguards Employees

It forbids employers from age discriminations in decisions regarding firing, hiring, pay, layoffs, demotions, promotions, benefits, performance reviews, appraisals, or any other aspect of employment.

Under the ADEA rules and regulations, employers cannot:

  • Set or specify age limits for any training programs.

  • Mention verbally or in writing that individuals of a certain age are preferred for a position in recruiting materials and job ads. It is plausible, but asking for date of birth on a job application is illegal.

  • Ask you to retire after reaching a certain age.

  • Retaliate if you file complaint for age discrimination or help government with investigative purposes.

In addition, the ADEA also interdicts practices and policies that may have a disparate impact on aged employees. While these policies may appear to be age-neutral, they are somewhat harsh on older employees.

If you think you are a victim of age discrimination, you should consider getting the legal counsel of an experienced employment discrimination attorney to effectively represent your case. Talk to an experienced Roselle employment discrimination attorney today to discuss your case and evaluate your legal options. Contact the Law Office of Michael T. Smith today for a consultation.