Age Discrimination Lawyers
To many employers, age is more than just a number. It is a reason to discriminate against certain employees when they are making hiring and firing decisions. Connecticut is governed by many strict laws that prohibit age discrimination. According to the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, complaints of age discrimination in the workplace are some of the most common they receive.
State and Federal Laws Regarding Age Discrimination
Under the Age Discrimination and Employment Act, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against any worker older than 40 years of age. The Connecticut General Statutes Section 46a-60 also prohibits discriminating against an employee because they are of a certain age. Employers are not only prohibited from discriminating against older employees, but they must also respond to any complaints of harassment based on a person’s age.
For example, June is 60 years of age and is applying for a job as an administrative assistant. The person responsible for the hiring may tell her that she is not eligible for the job because she will be retiring soon. This is a fairly obvious form of age discrimination and in this case, June would have a legal claim against the employer.
Exceptions to Age Discrimination Laws
It is important to distinguish age discrimination from the legitimate seniority systems followed by many businesses. For example, Mark may be 50 years old and has worked for an employer for the past five years. Rick is only 35 but has been working with the same employer for the past ten years. If the employer has to lay employees off and uses the seniority system to decide which employees to let go, they would choose to keep Rick because he has more seniority than Mark. As long as the employer regularly uses the seniority system, this is not a case of age discrimination.
Certain occupations, such as firefighters and police officers, sometimes have legal age requirements that exempt them from state and federal age discrimination laws. Any employee older than the age of 65 and who has worked in a policy-making or executive position for at least two years can face termination if they have a pension or other benefits that will provide a minimum of $44,000 per year.
Lastly, under the law you must also be qualified for a job. If you are not able to perform a certain job, you can legally be fired or denied employment. For example, a construction company may need a worker that can lift up to 100 pounds regularly. If a 60-year-old applied and did not meet that requirement, the employer could choose not to hire them without fear of facing an age discrimination claim.
Common Signs of Ageism in the Workplace
Ageism is rarely obvious in the workplace. Employers know the consequences they face for violating someone’s rights and so, they try to do quite subtly. As a result, workers of a certain age may feel as though they are being discriminated against, but they are not sure. This is where an age discrimination lawyer is of great help, as they can determine if discrimination occurred. In the meantime, some of the most common signs of ageism in the workplace are as follows:
- You were fired from your job so your boss could replace you with a younger employee.
- You lost your job during a massive layoff, but the majority of employees affected are over the age of 40.
- You were denied a job you applied for because you are overqualified or too experienced.
- Your main employment duties have been given to someone else who has a longer career ahead of them.
- Your employer has told you that you will be unable to learn a new skill, particularly when it is commonly associated with younger people.
- Your performance reviews suddenly became more negative after you reached a certain age.
- Your employer or co-workers regularly make derogatory comments about your age, such as the fact that you are over the hill.
- Your employer regularly asks you when you are going to retire.
Unfortunately, the above are just a few of the most common signs of ageism. Any time you believe you have been subjected to this type of behavior, it is critical that you speak to an age discrimination lawyer that can advise on your case.
Call Our Age Discrimination Lawyers Now
Age discrimination can make life in the workplace extremely difficult, but it is crucial to remember that you have rights. At Carey & Associates, P.C., our age discrimination lawyers know how to ensure those rights are upheld, and will help you recover any damages you sustained as a result of the unfair treatment. Call us today at (203) 255-4150 to schedule a consultation and to obtain the legal advice you need.
By Chris Avcollie Age Discrimination in Employment: A Most Invisible Prejudice... In some ways, Western culture teaches us to honor and to respect our elders. The fifth Commandment in the Judeo-Christian tradition is: Honor your father and your mother... Exodus 20:1-21. But in many contexts, Americans are predisposed to hold negative views of older persons. ...
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