last update 10-21-99


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 discrimination 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  =======================

                      AND DISCLAIMER

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
    ph 225-292-0099
    toll-free 1-888-292-0116

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