The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal law that protects employees at least 40 years of age from discrimination in hiring and other employment practices.
ADEA applies to employers with at least 20 employees working per day for at least 20 weeks in the preceding 12-months. Ohio’s discrimination law, however, which applies to employers with only four or more employees, also protects older workers. Employers who violate either of these statutes may bear liability for their actions.
Proof of Violation
Generally, under the ADEA a showing of the following is necessary to establish the basis for a successful claim:
- The offended employee aged 40 years, or older, at the time of the alleged discrimination;
- The older worker was the subject of the unlawful act;
- The older worker was qualified for the position or was not otherwise responsible for the adverse employment action;
- If terminated or not hired, a “substantially younger person “was hired or replaced the older worker.
In defense, an employer must articulate a legitimate, non-discriminatory, for the adverse employment action.
If a violation is proven, an employee may be entitled to various remedies:
- Reinstatement to one’s former position with compensation for lost wages and benefits back to the date of unlawful discharge.
- Payment of the employee’s reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.
- Compensatory damages and, in severe situations, punitive damages.
If you feel you have been subjected to discrimination based on your age, promptly contact an employment attorney to discuss your filing options and remedies. Federal and State law have important deadlines and procedural requirements which must be met in order to successfully preserve and present a claim. Consultation with legal counsel can be beneficial to ensure your rights are protected.
This blog is written and published by Laufman & Napolitano, LLC