The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines age discrimination as any instances in which a job applicant or employee is treated unfavorably because of how old they are.
Age discrimination is prohibited under both Michigan and federal laws. In the case of the latter, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits any worker age 40 or older from being discriminated against solely due to their age.
According to the EEOC, discrimination doesn’t just have to come from a younger decision maker. They note that both parties may be over 40 and that a superior may discriminate against their similarly-aged employee.
The way that discrimination laws are written is that they prohibit an employer from using age to figure into decisions about hiring, layoffs or firings. They’re also prohibited from allowing it to affect their decisions about pay, training, in making job assignments or in assigning benefits.
In addition to discrimination, harassment of a worker because of their age is also illegal. The EEOC doesn’t consider isolated incidents such as offhand comments and teasing to be harassment. Any actions that are so severe or frequent that they create an offensive or hostile work environment, which may include derogatory or offensive remarks, are considered to be harassment though.
Harassment doesn’t always come at the hands of an employer. It can be doled out by customers or clients, co-workers and a superior that’s not an employee’s direct supervisor.
Individuals who are discriminated against in their Detroit workplace may lose out on job opportunities or promotions and be left with emotional scars. Individuals who’ve been treated differently because of their age should consult with a workplace discrimination attorney who is experienced in protecting the rights of at-will employees.