Age Discrimination

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits age discrimination against people over 40 and covers government workers as well as employees in the private sector over 40 years of age who work for employers with 20 or more employees. Conduct that constitutes age discrimination can range from the most visible examples of bias, such as when a bank hires a young, inexperienced bank teller instead of an older woman who has years of experience in the field, to more subtle instances of discrimination, such as when an executive is moved to a smaller office after he or she reaches age 55, or when a promotion is filled by a younger staff member before the older workers even hear about the opening. Victims of age discrimination in the workplace can recover back pay (lost wages), front pay (future lost wages), promotion or reinstatement to the position that was denied, compensatory damages for emotional distress, punitive damages if the employer was acting with malice or reckless indifference, attorney’s fees, costs of litigation, and any other award that would “make the victim whole,” or put the victim in the same position s/he would have been in absent the discrimination.