3 Things You Need To Know About Proving Age Discrimination

Law Blog


The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employers from making employment-related decisions on the basis of an employee's age. This means that employers cannot use age as a determining factor when deciding which employees to terminate or promote. Employers are also prohibited from reducing an employee's wages or restricting access to training opportunities based on the employee's age. If you believe your employer is discriminating against you based on your age, you may be able to file a lawsuit for age discrimination. Here are three things you need to know about proving that age discrimination has occurred.

1. You must be at least 40 years old. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act was written to protect older workers from discriminatory practices. Specifically, the act protects workers who are 40 years of age or older. Thus, the most basic element of an age-discrimination case is the age of the plaintiff. If you are not at least 40 years old, the ADEA does not apply to your situation, and you cannot prove that your employer engaged in conduct that is prohibited by the act.

2. If you file a lawsuit against your employer, it is up to you to prove that age discrimination occurred. In some cases, it is up to employers to prove that they have not engaged in prohibited conduct. That is not the case with an age-discrimination lawsuit. In Gross v. FBL Financial Services, Inc.the Supreme Court held that the plaintiff in an age-discrimination case must prove that his or her age is the reason an employer took an adverse employment action. For example, if an older employee is demoted, he must prove that his age is the reason for the demotion. In other words, the burden of proof falls on the employee to prove that the employer engaged in discriminatory conduct.

3. If you sue an employer for failing to hire you based on your age, you must be able to prove that you were qualified for the job and that the employer hired a younger person to fill the opening. You cannot prove that age discrimination occurred simply because an employer did not hire you; therefore, you must be able to prove that you were qualified for the job. To prove that you were qualified, keep a copy of the job description, your resume and the cover letter you sent to the employer when you applied for the job. You can use these documents to show that you possess all of the required qualifications. Once you establish that you were qualified for the job, you must be able to prove that the employer filled the position with someone younger than you. For example, if you are 60 and the person hired is 30, you can prove that the employer hired a younger person to do the job.

The ADEA is supposed to prevent employers from discriminating against older workers, but not all employers adhere to the letter and spirit of the law. If you believe an employer discriminated against you based on your age, contact an age discrimination law attorney such as those from https://www.shegerianlaw.com to find out if you have a strong case.



20 February 2019