How to fight back against age discrimination

Dear Savvy Senior,

What are the steps to take to battle in opposition to age discrimination within the office, and the place can I flip to for assist if I feel I’ve obtained a case?

Passed Over Paul

Dear Paul,

If you consider your age has value you within the office — whether or not it’s a job, a promotion, or a increase — you’ve got choices for preventing again. Here’s what you need to know together with some steps to take in opposition to this unlawful office exercise.

ADEA safety

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act is a federal regulation that claims an employer can not fireplace, refuse to rent, or deal with you in another way than different workers due to your age. Some examples of age discrimination embody:

You had been fired as a result of your boss wished to maintain youthful employees who’re paid much less.

You had been turned down for a promotion, which went to somebody youthful employed from exterior the corporate, as a result of the boss says the corporate “needs new blood.”

When firm layoffs are introduced, a lot of the individuals laid off had been older, whereas youthful employees with much less seniority and fewer on-the-job expertise had been stored on.

The ADEA protects all employees and job candidates age 40 and over who work for employers which have 20 or extra workers. If your office has fewer than 20 workers, you should still be protected beneath your state’s anti-age discrimination regulation.

Steps to take

If you assume you’re a sufferer of employment age discrimination, it’s possible you’ll first need to speak to your supervisor informally or file a proper criticism together with your firm’s human assets division.

If that doesn’t resolve the issue, you need to then file a cost with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission inside 180 days from the date of the alleged violation, however it might be prolonged to 300 days. You can do that on-line, by mail or in particular person at your nearest EEOC workplace (see or name 800-669-4000. They will enable you via the submitting course of and allow you to know in the event you must also file a cost together with your state anti-discrimination company.

Once the cost is filed, the EEOC will examine your criticism and discover both affordable trigger to consider that age discrimination has occurred, or no trigger and no foundation for a declare. After the investigation, the EEOC will then ship you their findings together with a “notice-of-right-to-sue,” which supplies you permission to file a lawsuit in a courtroom of regulation.

If you resolve to sue, you’ll want to rent a lawyer who makes a speciality of worker discharge fits. To discover one, see the National Employment Lawyers Association at, or your state bar affiliation at

Another possibility it’s possible you’ll need to contemplate is mediation, which is a good and environment friendly means that can assist you resolve your employment disputes and attain an settlement. The EEOC affords mediation for gratis in case your present or former employer agrees to take part. At mediation, you present up together with your proof, your employer presents theirs and the mediator makes a willpower inside a day or much less.

Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today present and creator of “The Savvy Senior” e book.