Ways Florida Employers Discriminate Based On Age
Treating workers differently on account of age has been unlawful since 1967 when Congress enacted the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), but statistics indicate that some employers still fail to comply. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) receives an average of 15,600 charges every year alleging misconduct by employers because of age. Under the ADEA, companies are prohibited from discriminating against employees under 40 years old. The provisions apply to all entities that employ 20 workers or more, but Florida’s age discrimination laws go a step further: You are protected if you work for a company that has 15 workers.
One of the key issues with addressing age discrimination is that it can be tough to pinpoint and report incidents of misconduct. Many employees suffer adverse treatment without realizing that they have been targeted, though they might have a hunch based upon sneaky tactics by employers. You do have rights under ADEA, and a West Palm Beach employment attorney will develop a strategy to enforce them. Some of the games employers play include:
Job Elimination and Layoffs: Companies may use the excuse of cutting certain positions, when the true objective is to get rid of and replace older workers. When job elimination constitutes age discrimination, the employer attempts to change the title or tasks. Layoffs can be discriminatory as well when the majority of those let go are 40 years old and up.
Performance Review Issues: If you have worked for a company for some time and always received good or satisfactory feedback, it is concerning when:
- Your periodic performance reviews suddenly change for the worse.
- You are being reprimanded or written up for acts, while younger employees avoid discipline.
- Your employer abruptly changes your job description and then reprimands you for not immediately adjusting.
Through these tricks, the company is likely preparing a case to terminate you for unsatisfactory performance – thus avoiding an age discrimination claim.
Limiting Participation in the Workplace: Companies may cut hours or change shift times as a way to force older workers out, knowing that there will be financial repercussions. Plus, isolating employees from younger personnel can be age discrimination, such as:
- Excluding older staff from meetings, lunches, and retreats;
- Transferring a worker to a remote office, location, or cubicle;
- Adjusting your job duties to menial tasks that are below your abilities; and,
- Taking away your authority as a manager, which may include reassigning your team members to other positions.
Denying Advancement: When you see younger, equally skilled employees being promoted and getting raises – while older workers remain stagnant – the company could be engaging in age discrimination. The employer wants to avoid investing in an employee who will presumably retire soon.
Talk to a Florida Age Discrimination Lawyer About Your Rights
If you have concerns about any of the above tricks by employers, please contact Sconzo Law Office to discuss them. You can call 561-279-6114 or check us out online to schedule a free case review at our location in Palm Beach Gardens. A knowledgeable employment law attorney can advise you after analyzing your case.