In some cultures, older members of the population are considered highly knowledgeable individuals who are revered and honored by those who live with them. They are seen as wise elders who guide the decisions of their communities and offer reflections on the past to help younger generations avoid making similar mistakes. In Illinois and throughout the United States, this sentiment is not always shared by all employers.
In fact, some employers view older workers as liabilities. They may not believe that older workers can keep up with the pace of work that is expected of them, or that they will not adapt to new technologies and workplace practices as their younger counterparts. Unfortunately, some older workers are disliked by their employers because they command higher salaries than their younger co-workers due to their experience and knowledge.
When a worker is impacted by an employment practice in a negative way because of their age, they may suffer from age discrimination. Age discrimination applies to individuals who are 40 years of age and older and to many private employers. Readers are asked to talk to their employment law attorneys about their pending age discrimination claims to determine if they meet the criteria for pursuing legal recourse through the EEOC and then litigation.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act is the federal law that protects older workers from the harmful and unlawful discriminatory practices of their employers. It applies to individuals who have employment positions as well as to individuals who are harassed or discriminated against due to their age when they are applying for jobs. Age discrimination is a serious employment law matter and can be fought through careful legal planning.