Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act
One of the most significant benefits of employing older workers is the industry knowledge and experience they possess. Unfortunately, some companies focus on their age and the future need for leave, insurance, and possible retirement benefits they might require. This can lead employers to consider younger candidates first and pass over their older workforce for promotions and continued training.
Suppose you are over 40 years of age and have experienced discriminatory employment practices in the workplace. In that case, you have rights under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)) to hold your employer accountable.
Protections You have Under ADEA and Ohio Law
As an Ohio worker, you have rights as an employee, protected on the state and federal levels. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and Ohio law expressly prohibit discrimination in any of the below aspects of your career:
- Hiring process
Additionally, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) makes it illegal to provide older workers with benefits that aren’t equal to those offered to younger employees. All of these laws support your employer’s right to hire and fire at will so long as these decisions are not based on discriminatory purposes. Unfortunately, this means that being over 40 years old is not a guarantee for being hired, promoted, or avoiding a layoff.
Under the ADEA, workers over 40 years old have federally protected rights. This law prohibits employers from treating younger employees with preference in hiring, termination, and related employment matters. It is also illegal for leadership in your company to mistreat or abuse older team members because of their advanced age. Much like the EEOC and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, workplace retaliation is also disallowed against employees who file age discrimination complaints.
Ohio Statute 4112.14 operates in much the same way as the ADEA. However, its most notable provision is its prohibition of employment discrimination against employees over 40 years of age. This law recognizes that older workers who can perform the duties and other requirements of an open position cannot be denied the right to apply due to their age.
Suppose your rights as an older Ohio worker were violated. In that case, this statute also gives you the ability to file an age discrimination charge or suit against your employer without fear of retaliation.
What Age Discrimination Looks Like
Below are just a few of countless situations that show what age discrimination might look like in your workplace:
- Being denied participation in special projects or assignments or given especially difficult duties in unfair proportions compared to younger workers.
- Having training opportunities given to younger employees without consideration of older team members. This includes reimbursement for educational costs.
- Not being given the same priority or access to paid or unpaid time off because you are older and do not have children living at home to care for.
- Being excluded from company activities that would benefit your career or preclude you from client meetings.
- Passing you over for deserved promotions or wage increases despite your good job performance and qualifications.
- Receiving insulting remarks about your age, whether disguised in jokes or being directly abusive.
Speak with a Reputable Age Discrimination Attorney
If you or a coworker believe that your employer is discriminating against you because of your age, there are steps you can take to hold them accountable. While it’s necessary that you first follow your company’s reporting procedures and processes, your next step should be to consult with a knowledgeable age discrimination attorney if you can’t get an appropriate resolution.
At Hux Law Firm, lead attorney James J. Hux can help you determine which next steps are best for your situation. This means assessing your case and deciding if the EEOC or the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC) should handle your complaint. He understands the importance of protecting Ohio’s older workers and will fight for your rights and justice every step of the way. Contact his office today to schedule a free consultation.
As you can see, countless situations can fall under the umbrella of discriminatory actions in employment.
Evidence is Essential in Any Workplace Discrimination Case
Like any court case, evidence is crucial in proving your allegations of employment discrimination against your employer. This is why it is vital to work with a skilled attorney familiar with both Ohio and federal employee rights and protections. Not only will they ensure your case is managed correctly from the moment you consult with them, but all of your complaint documentation will be completed accurately the first time to avoid delays.
You want your complaint to be taken seriously, which is why you bring copies of your documents to your HR representative or supervisor after your attorney has reviewed them. You need more than just emails and text messages, too. If possible, you can approach your coworkers for support and gather witness statements if they witnessed the discrimination you’re alleging.
When this step doesn’t improve the situation with your employer, your attorney can then send your formal complaint to the necessary state and federal agencies. Typically, your first point of contact would be the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, it’s also possible additional agencies may need to get involved, such as the Ohio Civil Rights Commission.
If accepted, your suit would follow the process outlined by the agency governing the matter and then decide. This makes it essential that any Ohio employment discrimination attorney you consider retaining have the necessary experience and training to navigate this complex process.
Know Your Rights in Retaliatory Employment Situations
Workplace discrimination complaints frequently find the victims the target of retaliation by their employers, managers, and coworkers. However, despite their efforts to stop you from pursuing your lawsuit against them, you have legal protections against unfair terminations, verbal and physical abuse, demotions, and more.
Whether you blew the whistle on unfair labor practices or are fighting for fair pay after discovering you were being unfairly paid lower wages for the same work as your peers, your employer has no right to punish you for engaging in these protected activities. If unlawful employment practices and conduct are taken against you, your lawsuit can also be included.
Stop Workplace Discrimination in Your Ohio Workplace
If you are being discriminated against on the job, speak with attorney James J. Hux of Hux Law Firm. His years of experience as a reputable Ohio employee rights attorney will prove invaluable in your fight to hold your boss accountable. With his insight into why discrimination happens and how to go about putting an end to it, you can feel assured that your rights and best interests are at the heart of his efforts. Contact his office today and schedule your free consultation.