Workers of all ages have rights in their North Carolina workplaces. Regardless of age or other factors, each individual is entitled to a work environment and employment process that is free from discrimination, harassment and other types of inappropriate treatment. Age discrimination is unacceptable and illegal, but unfortunately, older workers may still experience this type of mistreatment.
The rights of older workers
Older workers are sometimes undervalued, and they may experience different types of discrimination from co-workers, employers and others. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act provides the following protections for older individuals:
- An employer cannot reduce benefits on the basis of someone’s age.
- An employer cannot make employment decisions on the basis of age.
- Older employee cannot be forced to retire or take less pay after reaching a certain age.
- Job advertisements and qualifications cannot be based on age unless it is a legitimate prerequisite to do the specific job.
If someone experienced age discrimination in his or her place of work, it may be appropriate to pursue legal action against the employer and other liable parties. Victims may be overwhelmed or intimidated, but they do not have to remain silent about what they experienced.
Holding employer accountable
North Carolina employers may not allow, encourage or take part in any form of age discrimination in any aspect of the employment process. They are also responsible for the development of a hostile work environment for older employees. Those who experience age discrimination in the workplace may pursue a legal claim in order to seek appropriate compensation.