Is Age Discrimination More Common For Older Or Younger Workers?

Age discrimination is nothing new, but more people discuss it today than ever before. Research suggests that 2/3 of adults over 50 think that older employees are discriminated against because of their age. Also, 78% of older workers say they have experienced or seen age discrimination. But are younger workers discriminated against as well? Find out more in this article about age discrimination, then speak to our Chicago age discrimination attorneys at North Suburban Legal Services for assistance.

What Are Examples Of Age Discrimination?

It is rare for an employer to directly state that they are discriminating against you because you are too young or old. For instance, most organizations will not say they did not hire you because of your age. However, age discrimination is more indirect, and it may be happening if you notice any of the following:

  • You were denied a promotion or salary increase because you are too young or old.
  • Your job responsibilities were curtailed suddenly without explanation.
  • The employer is only hiring and promoting workers of a certain age.
  • You were laid off or fired even though you have excellent job performance.
  • You were passed over for training and promotions.
  • Your employer gives you job tasks that are far beneath your skill level.

While most of the age discrimination discussed in society is about older workers, it can apply to younger workers, too. For example, younger workers also can be passed over for promotions because of their age. Also, young employees may be paid less because of their age and lack of experience. But overall, it is believed that age discrimination is more common against older employees.

Also, state, federal, and local laws that address age discrimination only mention workers who are 40 and older, not younger workers. If you are a younger worker and think you face age discrimination, talk to a Chicago age discrimination attorney.

Overview Of The Age Discrimination Employment Act

Age discrimination in the workplace is illegal, and in Illinois, the Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA) protects workers from this mistreatment. The critical parts of the ADEA that protects older workers from age discrimination are summarized below. However, keep in mind that the ADEA only applies to workers in Illinois over 40, so younger workers are not protected:

    The ADEA makes it illegal to discriminate against someone because of age at any part of the employment process. This includes hiring, interviewing, salary increases, promotions, and terminations

  • The law makes it illegal for other workers, supervisors, managers, and others to harass workers because of their age. For example, if your manager comments about your age and difficulty with new technology, this is a red flag for age discrimination.
  • The ADEA applies to all organizations with at least 20 employees. But the Illinois Human Rights Act also outlaws age discrimination and applies to companies with at least 15 workers.
  • The AEA makes it legal for companies to ask the age of workers and job candidates or when they will graduate from high school or college. This may make it more challenging to prove you were discriminated against because of your age.

Additionally, the City of Chicago makes it illegal to discriminate against workers who are 40 and older. However, the Chicago Human Rights Ordinance states that it is not a violation to discriminate against employees under 40. The US Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) also bans age discrimination for workers 40 and older, but not younger workers.

How To Deal With Workplace Age Discrimination

If you think your age is costing you a job, promotion, or favorable work assignments, you have ways to fight back. First, take the following steps, then speak to an age discrimination attorney:

Talk To Your Manager

You should talk to your manager about whether you are being discriminated against because you are too young or old. Filing an official complaint with the HR depart is only sometimes necessary. Sometimes, unfair treatment can be addressed with an informal conversation. Many employers will want to avoid legal hassles over age discrimination and may take action to resolve the matter quickly.

Maintain A Log

Write down any actions or comments that you think are because of age discrimination against you. Also, keep an electronic file of emails, texts, and memos showing improper treatment. It also is helpful to maintain a timeline, which could indicate that the employer retaliated after you filed a complaint. However, you should not record any conversations with co-workers or managers; Illinois is a two-party consent state, meaning that it is illegal to record communications without the consent of all parties.

File A Complaint With The Company

If an informal conversation with the manager does not resolve the matter, follow your company’s official complaint process. This may mean filing a discrimination complaint with your HR department or with an executive-level officer or manager. Be sure that you make your complaint in writing and not just verbally.

Hire An Age Discrimination Lawyer

It is not recommended to handle an age discrimination claim without legal representation. For instance, you must file your age discrimination claim with the EEOC within 180 days of the alleged offense. Your attorney can direct you to where it is best to file your claim – either with the state or the local jurisdiction where the company is located. Many age discrimination attorneys handle these cases on a contingency basis, meaning you do not pay legal fees unless you win.

Talk To The EEOC

You can talk to the EEOC about your concerns before you file a complaint, which is known as a charge of discrimination. If you make a formal complaint, it will be investigated by the federal agency or the state. For example, Illinois has its own age discrimination investigators and will share their knowledge and information with the EEOC about the case.

File A Lawsuit

If the issue cannot be resolved and you filed a complaint with the EEOC, you can file a lawsuit if you have not heard from them after 60 days. The EEOC should send you a ‘right to sue’ letter, but you have only 90 days to take action.

Contact Our Chicago Age Discrimination Attorneys

Being a victim of age discrimination at work is upsetting and illegal. However, if you were discriminated against because of age, you can file an age discrimination lawsuit and receive compensation. Talk to our Chicago age discrimination attorneys at North Suburban Legal Services today at (312) 909-6089.




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