Individuals of all ages have the right to a workplace that is free from harassment and other types of unfair treatment. Unfortunately, older workers sometimes experience challenges in the workplace, possibly experiencing discrimination based on their age. This, like any other type of discrimination, is illegal, and victims do not have to remain silent about the unacceptable treatment they are receiving.
Protections under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
Age discrimination happens when someone experiences negative treatment from an employer or co-worker on the basis of his or her age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects employees age 40 and up, prohibiting discrimination at any stage of the employment process. This means that an employer cannot use age as a factor in unfavorable decisions related to hiring, firing, training and other aspects of the employment process.
The ADEA applies to companies that have 20 or more employees. In addition to protection from age discrimination in all aspects of the employment process, older employees also have protection against harassment. This includes aggressive or offense behaviors that are severe enough to lead to the development of a hostile work environment.
Options for discrimination victims
If someone is the victim of age discrimination in his or her workplace, that individual has the right to speak out. It may be appropriate to seek recourse through a civil claim, a step that allows a victim to seek justice and damages. If a North Carolina worker believes he or she may be a victim, it may help to speak with an experienced employment law attorney to gain an understanding of the legal options available.