last update 10-21-99
CLAIM FOR AGE DISCRIMINATION
If you are 40 years of age or older, you are protected from discrimination
on the basis of age in some circumstances.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA--29 USC 623) prohibits
based on age. Persons protected are those age 40 years or older. Similar
to the anti-discrimination provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act,
the ADEA prohibits an employer from treating an employee age 40 or over
differently than an employee under 40 because of the older employee's age.
The ADEA was designed to eliminate the termination of older employees based on
stigmatizing and false sterotypes about older workers, for instance, that they
are less adaptable to change, are out of touch with modern technology, or
slower than younger employees in doing their jobs.
Evidence of age discrimination includes age biased remarks, statistical
evidence showing a pattern of older workers being disproportionately
terminated, retention of less qualified, younger employees doing the same
job, other older workers victimized by teh same decison-maker, or replacement
by a younger employee.
This federal law is only applicable for those companies that employee 15
or more persons. Thus, if the company you work in employees less than 15
on a regular basis, coverage would not apply to that company.
As a general rule, most discrimination suits will be headed to Federal
Court. There are some state claims availble but they don't produce the
results that are available in Federal Court.
In order to qualify to sue in Federal Court, a claimant must first file a
complaint with the EEOC within 180 days of the alleged violation or you will
lose your right to sue at all. In some states, such as Louisiana, the state
has an office for processing discrimination claims. In that case, you must
file with the state agency instead of with the EEOC. If that agency or the
EEOC does not act on your claim, they will issue a "Right to Sue" letter which
will give the claimant a period of 90 days in which to file suit. If suit is
not filed during that time, the right to sue is lost forever.
Benefits of suit for age discrimination include recovery of lost wages,
an equal amount as damages, attorney fees, costs and interest. Suit can
be brought in Federal or State Court.
======================== WARNING =======================
This information is provided for the reader's benefit in
becoming familiar with the legal matters discussed. Your
particular facts may be different from the points above.
You should not rely on the above data without consulting a
attorney to discuss the specific facts of your case
and the law of your state.
If you live in Louisiana want to talk about your situation, please
call me at:
Marvin E. Owen
3036 Brakley Drive
Baton Rouge, La 70816
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