Are Younger Employees Protected by Age Discrimination Laws?
When you hear the term age discrimination in the context of work, you likely picture an older worker being fired or turned down for a position. Allen, TX attorney Dan A. Atkerson has helped numerous workers who’ve been discriminated against. While most age discrimination cases involve older workers, younger workers deserve legal aid as well.
Below, we want to consider employment law for age discrimination as it applies to young adults. You may be surprised to find out who is protected by current age discrimination law and who is not.
Current Laws on Age Discrimination
Looking at information from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), laws typically focus on people 40 and older. This is made explicit in the the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which focuses on protecting the middle-aged and elderly.
This focus on older workers is expected since many employers (especially at tech companies and other forward-thinking industries) tend to favor younger employees. Older employees may be passed up in hiring or laid off in favor of a younger workforce.
Yet ageism takes many forms, and we shouldn’t discount the potential issues faced by younger workers among older colleagues.
Hazing Due to Being Young and New on the Job
Some workplaces have hazing rituals for new employees or people who are new to certain positions in the company. These hazing rituals could involve demeaning behavior that should not be accepted. Just because you are young does not mean you have less value as a person and should be treated poorly.
Issues with a Toxic Work Environment
Bullying can also be an issue at workplaces in and around Allen. In these cases, older workers may take your age as an invitation to be mistreated. This form of employee harassment can result in a toxic working environment, which makes it difficult to finish work and accomplish basic tasks. If you are being targeted because you are young, that is unacceptable.
Discrimination in Hiring Based on Age
Many workplaces favor experience for certain positions, which makes your age a liability. Even if you have a good resume and a proven record of results, some people may discount you simply because you are young. This is discrimination in the hiring process and must be taken seriously.
Challenges for Young Workers Dealing with Age Discrimination
Even if you have faced harassment, bullying, and discrimination at your workplace because of your age, proving this could be difficult. Since the letter of the law provides no explicit protections for young workers, you make wonder what to do.
The first step is to report the incident to HR or your supervisor. If they are unable to address the situation within the company, that’s when you should speak with an attorney.
How an Attorney Can Help with Your Case
An employment discrimination attorney can go over the circumstances of your case and determine your next course of action. Even if the letter of the law doesn’t specifically protect younger workers, there are statutes regarding harassment that can be used to hold co-workers and your company accountable for mistreatment.
Contact an Employment Discrimination Lawyer
If you live in the Allen area and need to speak with a legal expert familiar with workplace discrimination laws in the state of Texas, contact a skilled employment law attorney. The team at the Law Offices of Dan A. Atkerson is here to help. You can reach us by phone at (214) 273-1956.