If you are over age forty, you are considered a protected class within the workplace. Have you been passed over for a promotion regardless of having more experience and better qualifications? Were you laid off from your job to make room for a younger employee to take over? This could be due to age discrimination, which is illegal.
Discriminating against employees age forty and over is against the law. If you feel that your employer has based employment decisions on age, you may be entitled to compensation. The best way to understand your rights is to contact a knowledgeable age discrimination attorney to see where you stand.
If you are a victim of age discrimination at your workplace, our compassionate and experienced Pittsburgh Work Discrimination Lawyers can help.
We offer free case evaluations to anyone who feels they have been discriminated against by their employer.
We can fight to get you the compensation you deserve for the mistreatment you endured and to also hold those accountable for their unacceptable discriminatory behavior.
The expert workplace discrimination attorneys at SMA Law Group do not collect a fee unless we win compensation for you.
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To put it simply, an employer cannot fire, refuse to hire, or in any other way discriminate against an employee because of the employee’s age. Cases of age discrimination are not limited to hiring and firing. It also includes:
Most cases of age discrimination involve the promotion of a significantly younger, less experienced employee. Some cases involve an employer’s desire for a more youthful image and therefore deliberately fail to hire older workers.
If you can prove that your employer refuses to invest resources, such as further training or advancement, on the basis of age, this is also a form of age discrimination. While there are many ways that age discrimination can take place, it can be difficult to prove without the help of an experienced attorney.
In age discrimination cases, the discriminatory act must be intentional. This means you cannot simply prove that the termination was wrongful – you must be able to successfully prove that the employer’s actions were based solely on your age and nothing else.
Once you have provided evidence to fit these criteria, the employer will have a chance to offer a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for their actions.
For example, perhaps they have verified records of your poor performance on the job. If the employer can successfully prove that they based their decision regarding your employment on a reasonable factor other than age, they will not be held liable for age discrimination.
Age discrimination cases do not have the same level of scrutiny as other discrimination cases because there are occasions where age can affect job performance. Therefore, you must have proper evidence of your employer’s intent to discriminate based solely on age.
While the burden can be hard to meet, an expert age discrimination attorney can help you meet that burden.
Rarely, claims for harassment due to age have been filed and been successful. But it is important to note that age harassment must be severe, frequent, and create a hostile work environment to be actionable. These cases are not common, but if the discrimination is blatant, you may have a cause for filing suit.
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Unlike a number of other discrimination actions that can occur in an employment situation, such as race, gender, sex and national origin, age discrimination is not included under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Instead, age discrimination is protected on the federal level under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), enacted in 1967. The ADEA was enacted in an effort to prevent employers from choosing employees based upon their age, and instead to focus on their abilities.
Any age discrimination claims filed as a violation of the ADEA will be investigated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which oversees all federal workplace discrimination claims.
In order to file a claim for age discrimination with the EEOC, your employer must have at least twenty or more employees.
Workers in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania are not only protected from age discrimination under federal law. At the state level, employees are protected from discrimination under the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), which is governed by the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC).
If you feel you have been a victim of age discrimination in the workplace but your employer does not have twenty or more employees, you still have the opportunity to file a claim a the state level through the PHRC.
In order to file a claim for age discrimination with the PHRC, your employer must have four or more employees.
If you have been a victim of age discrimination, it is important to understand your rights and the process that you will go through should you decide to file a claim.
If your employer has twenty or more employees, you have the option of filing a claim at either the federal level with the EEOC, or the state level with the PHRC. If your employer is small and has only four or more employees, you will need to file your claim at the state level with the PHRC.
In either case, you have only up to 180 days from the date of the discrimination incident to file your claim. In fact, before you are able to file any type of discrimination lawsuit, you must first file your claim with the EEOC or the PHRC. Once your claim has been filed, you will have an investigator assigned to your case and they will determine if you have a cause of action.
Occasionally, the discrimination is so severe that the agency itself will file a lawsuit on your behalf and will work with you directly. If they do not choose to do so, you will receive a notification of a “right to sue” and you can determine how you would like to proceed.
If you receive a “right to sue” from the EEOC, you have up to 90 days to file your claim in court. If you receive your “right to sue” from the PHRC, you have up to two years to file your claim in court.
Determining where to file your claim and staying ahead of the short deadlines for filing can be confusing and overwhelming. Having the help of a knowledgeable and experienced employment discrimination attorney is invaluable.
Our age discrimination attorneys in Pittsburgh, PA understand how frustrating it is to be forced to deal with a harsh or uncomfortable work environment. We will do everything possible to get you the money you deserve for the discriminatory actions you have endured.
We will conduct a thorough investigation into your age discrimination claims to determine which state and federal laws are applicable. We have a team of lawyers, investigators, and experts who work together to build a strong case for our clients.
We know when to negotiate, when to go to court and how to get you the compensation you deserve.
Our goal is to help you get the best possible outcome and maximum compensation so that we can make a positive difference in your life.
Call 412-765-3345 for a free case evaluation. Our attorneys are available by phone, email or in-person.
SMA Law Group attorneys believe in aggressively representing our clients while maintaining the personal compassion needed when counseling clients through difficult situations and navigating a complex legal system. Contact us today.