The Age Discrimination in Employment Act is designed to protect certain people from adverse treatment in the workplace. The law protects workers in Colorado and throughout the country who are 40 years of age or older. An April 2020 ruling by the Supreme Court will likely make it easier for federal employees to prove that they were victims of age discrimination.
Age discrimination can be difficult to prove
As a general rule, workers need to be able to prove that age was the factor that caused them to miss out on raises, promotions or training opportunities. In its ruling, the Supreme Court found that using age at any point in making an employment decision could be seen as discriminatory. For instance, it would be discriminatory for a company to promote a 35-year-old as opposed to a 55-year-old simply because of a job candidate’s age.
Government workers are treated differently
When the ADEA was first passed, it only applied to private companies. In 1974, Congress decided to include local, state and federal government agencies as covered employers, and they also created separate statutory language that applied only to government employees. According to Justice Samuel Alito, there is no reason to believe that there is anything wrong with having two sets of standards. He said that lawmakers could choose to change the law if it wanted to change how the law applies to government workers.
Clarence Thomas was the sole dissenter in the matter
Justice Thomas said that the legislation did not make it illegal to make employment decisions based on age in certain cases. He believed that the law only required those decisions to be made in a way that did not discriminate against an individual because of his or her age.
If you believe that you have been a victim of workplace discrimination, it may be worthwhile to learn more about how to preserve your rights. An attorney may be able to review your case and develop a strategy that might allow you to obtain a favorable outcome.