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What is age discrimination in the workplace?

There are many types of discrimination in the workplace, but fortunately, there are also laws protecting workers from being the victim of certain forms of discrimination. One type of discrimination that is against the law is age discrimination. However, it can be helpful for older Colorado employees to understand that being fired or let go while one is a certain age does not necessarily mean that the employee has been the victim of age discrimination. There are very clear criteria that must be met to prove age discrimination.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Older Workers’ Benefit Protection Act outline the specific protections recognized for older workers. First, the laws apply to those who are over age 40. They are in place to ensure employers can’t use age against someone during the interview process or as a basis for not hiring a qualified candidate. Advertisements for positions can’t include age requirements unless the job truly requires certain age limitations.

Employers cannot discriminate against a worker by “downsizing” the older employees. Also, employers can’t force an employee to take early retirement and leave the workplace. While it may be difficult to prove, showing an employer fired an employee because of their age and then hired a younger employee to fill the position can help a worker pursue a successful age discrimination claim.

A claim of discrimination against a Colorado employer can be a difficult journey. However, anyone who feels they were adversely treated based solely on their age may benefit by gaining an understanding of their legal rights and what steps can be taken to enforce them. Seeking more information from an employment discrimination law attorney may help an employee in assessing the viability of commencing a lawsuit and exactly what actions may constitute age discrimination.

Source: employment.findlaw.com, "Age Discrimination in Employment", , Aug. 24, 2014

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