What Is Age Discrimination in Employment?

Age discrimination in employment occurs when an employee or job applicant isn’t treated the same as others, because of their age. In many states, including Minnesota, it’s illegal to discriminate against employees or job applicants who are over the age of 18. Minnesota’s law is called the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA). Federally, under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), only those over the age of 40 can sue for age discrimination.

What Is Age Discrimination? 

Age discrimination is treating an individual unfairly in the workplace. Age discrimination can occur in various industries, including office jobs, construction jobs, telemarketing jobs, and more. Age discrimination can include, but is not limited to:

  • Refusing to hire a job candidate based on their age.
  • Denying a promotion to an employee based on their age.
  • Replacing a long term employee with someone significantly younger.
  • Paying an employee less than other similarly-situated employees because of their age.
  • Engaging in unwelcome behavior or unfavorable comments that implicate an employee’s age.
  • Attempting to force, or repeatedly asking when, an employee is to retire.
  • Terminating an employee under factors that would lead a reasonable person to conclude the person’s age played a part in the decision.

Knowing what age discrimination looks like can help you to identify if you were the victim of age discrimination. Retaliating against an employee who reports age discrimination is also prohibited under the ADEA and MHRA.

If an employer is found to have engaged in age discrimination, the company may be required to provide remedies to the victim, such as reinstatement, past and future wage and benefit loss, compensation for emotional distress, and other special damages—such as tripling the award and punitive damages.

What to do if You’re the Victim of Age Discrimination in Employment

If you believe you are the victim of age discrimination in employment, there are many steps you can take to address the situation. However, you should consider consulting with an employment attorney who can help you understand your legal rights and options. Our expert team can guide you through the complaint process and help you pursue legal action if necessary.

If you believe you’re the victim of age discrimination in employment, contact our team today.

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Ross Stadheim

Ross Stadheim

Early on in law school, Ross Stadheim discovered his true passion — the plaintiff side of employment law. Embracing a chance to make a meaningful difference, he never looked back. Before becoming a founding partner at MSB Employment Justice, Ross garnered over $29 million in settlements and verdicts for his clients over the past 10 years at his previous firm. See Full Bio

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