Discrimination and Human Rights

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The Age Discrimination in Employment Act

Age Discrimination

Age discrimination occurs when someone is treated unfairly because of their age. This often occurs when an employer treats an employee or applicant less favorably because of their age. However, it can also occur in the educational setting, as well as when an individual is working with any public or governmental entity. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), a federal law, forbids employment discrimination based on age for those over the age of 40. In addition, Montana law protects older individuals from wrongful discrimination based upon their age.  

The ADEA prohibits setting age limits on training programs, mentioning age preferences for jobs and forcing employees to retire at a certain age. The law also prohibits employment policies that have a negative and disparate impact on older workers, unless the employer can prove that they are based on reasonable factors unrelated to age. Additionally, harassment based on age is illegal under the ADEA. The Montana Human Rights Act also provides specific protections for older individuals, and by pursuing relief through the Act, a person can force the business, governmental agency, or other public entity to discontinue its discriminatory practices.  

Conduct and negative employment actions which display age discrimination include:

  • Harassment, such as being called names or other forms of hostility, based on age
  • Recruitment policies that put age limits on a person’s job eligibility (such as restricting the pool to those who have less than 20 years of experience)
  • Being turned down from a promotion, and the position given to someone younger outside the company, because your employer wants the company to have a younger appearance
  • Not getting hired because the employer was seeking someone who looks younger
  • Firing mostly older workers during company layoffs
  • Being called old before being fired
  • Firing older, more senior employees in favor of keeping younger workers who are paid less
  • Giving younger workers more favorable work opportunities or conditions, such as offering them better projects or equipment than older workers

For more information on what might constitute age discrimination, as well as what legal rights you have, please read our blog articles and contact us directly. We can help you further understand how important it is to fight the horrible illegalities of discrimination, as well as determine what your legal rights are.