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Age discrimination is not always easy to prove

There are many people in Colorado who may feel that, due their ages, they have been the victims of discrimination either in the workplace or during the hiring process. Age discrimination is a real problem, but it is not always easy to prove. This column will address things to know about age discrimination and what can be done if one is a victim.

Age discrimination in the workplace is prohibited, period. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which makes this form of discrimination illegal, applies to all businesses that have 20 or more people in its employ. There may be mandatory retirement ages enforced due to the nature of certain jobs, but otherwise refusing to hire, promote or firing a person based on his or her age is illegal.

At what age does age discrimination start? Some people believe that age discrimination starts after the age of 50. However, there are those who believe it starts even earlier, when people are in their 30s and 40s.

In 2016, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received well over 20,000 complaints of age discrimination. The most common form of age discrimination, according to surveys done by AARP, is refusal to hire. This is followed closely by failure to promote and being laid off prematurely.

A ruling made by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009 requires that the burden of proof in age discrimination cases be exceptionally high. This has made it harder for victims of this form of discrimination, whether in Colorado or elsewhere, to seek compensation for their losses. An experienced employment law attorney may be able to help, however. With assistance, those who believe they have been subjected to age discrimination can take the steps necessary to seek damages through legal means.

Source: aarp.org, "10 Things You Should Know About Age Discrimination", Kimberly Palmer, Accessed on Feb. 22, 2017

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