Age discrmination in the workplace and the EEOC

In a survey of older adults conducted by the AARP, almost two-thirds said they had experienced or seen age discrimination in the workplace, and 92 percent of respondents said age discrimination was somewhat or very common. For workers in Arizona who have experienced age discrimination it can sometimes be unclear what steps can be taken. A person who believes he or she has been discriminated against based on age should address the issue, follow the company reporting process and consider filing a charge.

By addressing the issue head on with colleagues or superiors, the situation can be fully understood and the employee empowered. At most large companies there are protocols for reporting discrimination. Unless the situation calls for more immediate action, it's generally a good idea to follow the company's reporting procedures before involving government agencies.

At the federal level, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission handles employment discrimination claims. In order to have a claim of age discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, a person must be at least 40 years of age. According to the EEOC, age discrimination may exist with regard to job assignments, layoffs, training, hiring, firing, benefits, pay or any other part of employment. An adviser with the EEOC Office of Legal Counsel said the EEOC often has access to hiring data that other people don't.

For people who believe they've been victims of discrimination in the workplace, a lawyer might be able to help. A lawyer might conduct witness interviews or gather evidence to build a workplace discrimination claim which, if it is unaddressed after proper notice to the employer, might be filed with the EEOC.

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