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What constitutes age-related workplace discrimination?

In the United States, all citizens have the right to acquire gainful employment regardless of their age. Employers must abide by these laws and refrain from engaging in workplace discrimination because of a worker's age. Like other forms of workplace discrimination, age discrimination is often confusing to workers. As a result, many of them might not know if discrimination is occurring.

It is important for aging members of the Detroit workforce to learn about these laws. Asking questions like yours is one of the best ways to start learning. In 1967, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was put into place. It protects workers aged 40 and older from discrimination. Examples of age discrimination prohibited by the ADEA include the following.

-- Firing or laying off an employee because of his or her age

-- Refusing to hire a worker because of age

-- Retaliating against a worker who complains of age discrimination

-- Altering a compensation package because of the worker's age

-- Refusing to accept a person into an apprentice program solely due to age

-- Denying benefits to older workers

-- Refusing to promote a worker because of his or her age

Even with this information, many older Michigan workers feel that something is not right in their jobs, yet they cannot pinpoint the cause. Age-related workplace discrimination can be subtle as well as overt.

If you are not sure whether you are experiencing workplace discrimination, you might consider taking your concerns to an employment law attorney. Together, you and your lawyer can take a deeper look at your situation and determine if you are indeed a victim of discrimination. Your attorney can then help you choose a course of action appropriate to your situation.

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, "Age Discrimination," accessed March 03, 2017

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