Austin Age Discrimination Lawyer
What is age discrimination?
Age discrimination is when an employer discriminates against an employee or potential employee due to their age. In Texas, the law prohibiting age discrimination covers employers with 15 or more employees (including full time and part time employees). Age discrimination can occur in the hiring process, or once an employee is officially employed. The Age Discrimination Act (ADEA) and Chapter 21 of the Texas Labor Code forbid discrimination based on age only against people who are 40 years of age or older at the time the discriminatory act takes place.
Discrimination based on age is illegal in any aspect of the employment process including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, benefit, and any other condition of employment. It is also illegal to harass someone because of their age, which includes derogatory remarks about your age that are frequent and severe.
My boss and I are both over the age of 40, but I feel like I am being treated unfairly because of my age. Could this still be age discrimination?
Yes, it might be. The age discrimination laws do not require that the person inflicting the discrimination be younger or older than the person on the receiving end. Your boss could be older than you and still discriminate against you based on your age. As long as the person experiencing the discrimination is age 40 or older, illegal age discrimination could be taking place.
I applied for a job and the application asked me for my age, is this a violation of the ADEA?
Not necessarily. While this may indicate age discriminatory behavior, it is not illegal, standing alone, for an employer to ask someone their birth date or graduation date on an application. However, if the question is partnered with some other age-related suspicious behavior, you should contact an Austin age discrimination lawyer to better understand your rights under the circumstances.
I recently turned 60, and I feel like my boss keeps pushing for me to retire soon, do I have to retire?
No. There is no such thing as a mandatory retirement age. The ADEA protects you from being forced to retire. If you are being pressured by your boss to retire, either by subtle hints or outright encouragement, you may have a case for age discrimination. It is best to reach out to an Austin age discrimination lawyer to help analyze the situation. Whether and when you choose to retire is your choice.
I want to participate in a training program at work, but my company does not allow people over the age of 55 to participate. Is this age discrimination?
Yes. Employers are not allowed to set age limits for training programs. This is likely a direct violation of the ADEA.
I really like my job, but I feel like I have been the victim of age discrimination while working here. I really do not want to lose my job by filing a charge of discrimination. What should I do?
Call an employment attorney. You have the right to be free from retaliation for filing a charge of discrimination. As a practical matter, there are steps you can take, with some guidance, to accomplish your goals without making your life more difficult. Every case is different and depends on the facts and people involved. Ultimately, you should get informed about your rights and then speak out!
I am over the age of 40 and terminated as part of a reduction in force / layoff, is this age discrimination?
It may be. If you see a pattern of the company firing people over the age of 40, it could be a violation of the ADEA. If Exhibit A to your layoff notice or severance agreement shows the company disproportionately fired people over 40, that is evidence of age discrimination. If you are over 40 and more qualified than coworkers not affected by the layoff, that is evidence of age discrimination. If your supervisor or whoever decided to include you in a layoff made age discriminatory comments (about “dinosaurs, can’t teach an old dog new tricks, we need new blood,” etc.), those may be evidence of age discrimination.
I am over the age of 40 and the company fired and replaced me with someone younger, is this age discrimination?
It might be. The replacement must be either under 40, or substantially younger than you are. You should gather all other information that suggests age discrimination.
I think I’ve been the victim of age discrimination, what do I do now?
Take action! Age discrimination is wrong and illegal for a reason. Use your voice and do not let your employer get away with activity prohibited by law. Contact an Austin age discrimination lawyer to learn what to do next.
The incident of age discrimination happened over a month ago, is it too late to file a claim?
No. You have 180-300 days to file a claim with the TWC and the EEOC, respectively. So, get started as soon as possible.
What kind of compensation could I get for my age discrimination case?
There are three types of damages most age discrimination victims can recover in Texas:
- Economic damages: back pay and front pay for missed work and lost benefits. Under federal law, back pay awards double under most circumstances.
- Compensatory damages: emotional harm and mental anguish suffered as part of the discrimination, including costs for therapy and other treatment
- Punitive: an amount necessary to punish employer so that such discrimination never happens again.
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