The primary law regarding age discrimination is the Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, or ADEA. As a Washington DC discrimination attorneys team explains, claims under the ADEA involve treating an employee or applicant less favorably because of their age.
Workers Age 40 or Over
The ADEA prohibits discrimination against those individuals over 40; it does not protect workers under 40. It is not unlawful to favor an older worker over a younger worker, even if both individuals are over 40. The specific protections afforded by the ADEA, as explained by a Washington DC discrimination attorneys’ group, makes illegal:
- Any discrimination in employment, including hiring, firing, salary, promotions or any other term or condition of employment;
- Any harassment or the creation of a hostile work environment; and
- Any retaliation for complaining about or opposing age discrimination.
To Whom the ADEA Is Applicable
The provisions of the ADEA apply to the federal, state and local governments as well as private employers with more than 20 employees. Labor unions and employment agencies are also within the ADEA’s purview.
Waiver of ADEA
An experienced Washington DC discrimination lawyers’ team reports an increasing number of employers are requesting workers to sign waivers of their ADEA rights. With the increasing numbers of baby boomers in the workforce, part of the reason for these waivers is to settle discrimination claims, and part of the reason is as an incentive to some sort of exit program. In either case, the ADEA sets out specific guidelines for such waivers. The waiver must:
- Be in writing and understandable;
- Make mention of the fact it refers to ADEA rights;
- Not waive future claims;
- Be in exchange for valuable consideration;
- Advise the worker of their right to consult an attorney before signing; and Provide the worker at least 21 days to consider the waiver and a 7-day period after signing the waiver to revoke the agreement.
Contact a Washington DC Discrimination Lawyers’ Group for Legal Advice
If you believe you have been the victim of age discrimination, it is important to understand your rights and remedies. Both compensatory and punitive damages may be available based on the circumstances of your case. Call Boniface K. Cobbina, P.C. at 202-463-6900.