Every able-bodied, able-minded human being who is capable of performing a job has the right to fulfilling work. Every employee in this regard has the right to work without being discriminated against. Nevertheless, numerous Arizona employees find themselves being victimized by discriminatory practices related to their gender, sexual orientation, race, national origin and other factors.
Another area of discrimination -- perhaps one that we don't talk about enough -- is ageism. Numerous employees lose out on important opportunities unfairly, or they are treated unfairly on the job, simply because of their ages.
Is age discrimination against the law?
Age discrimination by employers is unlawful. Many Arizona workers can receive federal protection from age discrimination via the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, otherwise known as the ADEA. The ADEA protects all workers above the age of 40 from unfair discrimination related to their ages.
The ADEA is applicable to all private companies that have 20-plus employees. This law also applies to employment agencies, local governments, the federal government and labor organizations.
What discriminatory actions does the ADEA prevent?
The ADEA specifically prohibits discriminatory practices against people as a result of their age. This law covers all privileges, terms and conditions of employment. It prevents discrimination related to hiring, termination, promotions, compensations, getting laid off, job assignments, job benefits and training opportunities. It further prevents the harassment of older workers due to age.
Finally, if a worker wishes to speak up against discrimination in his or her workplace -- and asks for the discrimination to stop or complains about the discrimination -- the worker may not be retaliated against. The law prohibits retaliation against workers for filing a discrimination complaint or charge, for testifying about a discriminatory situation and/or for participating in an ADEA-related investigation or litigation.
Do you need to seek protection under the ADEA?
The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers a way for older employees to fight back against ageism in the workplace. Older workers may want to educate themselves about the law, how they are protected from discrimination, and what can be done to put a stop to it. Ideally, workers can educate themselves about their legal rights before an age discrimination issue arises.