Age Discrimination

Federal and state laws prohibit employers from discriminating against employees or job applicants 40 or older because of their age.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act and Virginia Human Rights Act forbid employers from discriminating on the basis of age against people age 40 or older.

These laws prohibit age discrimination in many aspects of employment. These include hiring, firing, layoffs, compensation, benefits, job assignments, promotions, training, and other conditions of employment.

Age-based harassment, such as a supervisor’s demeaning comments about one’s age, can also be illegal if the comments are so frequent or severe that they create an abusive work environment.

Age discrimination may occur as disparate impact discrimination. This can happen when an employer’s policies or procedures, even though they apply to all ages, have a disproportionately negative impact on applicants or employees over age 40.

Here are some examples of conduct that could be age discrimination:

  • Your employer has hiring or advancement policies that, in practice, favor younger workers over workers above age 40;
  • Your employer implemented a reduction in force and mass layoff that had a disparate impact on people over age 40.
  • You are over age 40, and your employer replaces you with a younger worker, even though you are more qualified and performed your job well;
  • You are over 40, and your employer passes you over for or promotions advancement opportunities in favor of younger employees;

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    If you believe you have suffered from age discrimination,
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