In today’s professional landscape, age discrimination continues to be a persistent issue, hindering the rights and opportunities of older workers. Unfortunately, as a vibrant hub of employment opportunities, Houston is not immune to this problem.
If you believe you’ve been the subject of age discrimination, it’s vital to acquaint yourself with your rights and take the required actions. It’s also in your best interest to seek the help of proper legal counsel to guide you through your options and process.
At Armstrong & Associates, our skilled attorneys represent workers of all ages in Houston, Texas. We seek justice and hold employers responsible for their unethical and illegal practices while relieving those unlawfully discriminated against.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), age discrimination “involves treating an applicant or employee less favorably because of his or her age.” Further, additional protections exist for workers over 40 under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
Discrimination comes in many forms, but it often includes treating older workers less favorably than their younger counterparts. Unfair policies, unequal pay, denial of benefits, or being overlooked for promotion based on age-related stereotypes are all age discrimination.
While some forms of discrimination are not illegal, treating a worker differently based on a protected characteristic (like age, gender, or disability) is against the law. Discrimination is sometimes subtle and may not always be apparent, so it’s crucial to be able to identify such behaviors and report them appropriately.
Here are some signs to indicate you may be dealing with an age discrimination case at work:
- Differential Treatment: Younger employees are consistently favored for certain assignments, promotions, or training opportunities compared to older, equally qualified colleagues.
- Age-Related Comments or Jokes: Especially when made by supervisors or during the hiring process.
- Sudden Performance Scrutiny: Sudden or new unwarranted criticism or negative evaluations that seem to be based on your age.
- Reduction of Responsibilities: Unjustified or sudden removal of job responsibilities, demotions, or exclusion from decision-making processes without valid reasons.
- Retaliation for Age-Related Complaints: If you experience retaliation or are treated differently (unfavorably) after raising concerns about age discrimination, it is further evidence of potential discrimination in the workplace.
It’s also important to note that policies or practices that apply to everyone but negatively impact applicants or employees over the age of 40 may also qualify as a workplace discrimination claim.
Reporting Age Discrimination: Taking Action
In confronting age discrimination at work, it’s crucial to resolve the issue proactively. Be sure to document incidents related to potential age discrimination and then report your concerns. Start with your company’s HR department or a trusted supervisor, or follow your company’s internal complaint procedures.
If your concerns aren’t addressed, or you suspect retaliation, it may be time to contact the EEOC and an experienced discrimination lawyer who can assist you with the process.
The age discrimination case process can be overwhelming, but with the help of a seasoned attorney skilled in employment law, you can navigate it effectively. Understanding each step of the process helps you know what to expect and improves your chances of a successful discrimination case.
If your age discrimination case does not reach a satisfactory resolution through administrative processes or negotiations, you may consider filing a lawsuit. The lawsuit begins when you or your attorney file a complaint with the appropriate court.
Some administrative actions may be required before filing a lawsuit, such as filing a complaint with the EEOC. However, once the EEOC issues a “right-to-sue” letter, you can pursue legal action through the courts.
Proving age discrimination requires presenting compelling evidence that supports your claims. To build a strong case, gathering relevant documentation and demonstrating a pattern of discriminatory behavior is essential.
Your employer will attempt to prove that their actions were not discriminatory. However, your attorney will use direct evidence, circumstantial evidence, and comparative evidence to prove otherwise.
To prove your case, you should also maintain detailed records of any incidents related to your claims. In addition, your attorney will conduct an investigation, speak with witnesses, and gather expert testimony if needed.
The duration required to settle your case hinges on its intricacy and the willingness of the involved parties to participate in mediation or settlement discussions. A skilled discrimination attorney can often reach a favorable agreement without a trial.
However, if your case goes to trial, a judge or jury will determine whether illegal discrimination occurred. While the trial might only last a few days, the entire procedure could extend to a few years.
The Role of an Age Discrimination Lawyer
Partnering with an experienced age discrimination lawyer can significantly benefit your case and improve your chances of success. Lawyers with experience in age discrimination are experts in employment law, possessing a comprehensive understanding of federal and state legislation and regulations designed to safeguard employees from discrimination based on age. In addition, they are up-to-date on legal developments and can reference similar cases to make a strong argument.
Your attorney will assess your case, review documentation, and help collect evidence to build your case. They will develop a strong legal strategy based on your unique situation and represent your interests in each step of the process.
Whether your case goes to mediation or trial, an experienced attorney will represent your interests and ensure the best outcome possible. Then you can focus on your well-being while your attorney diligently pursues justice on your behalf.
If you’ve experienced age discrimination in the Houston area, taking action and protecting your rights is crucial. By partnering with Armstrong & Associates, you can confidently begin your age discrimination case.
Our skilled lawyers have over three decades of experience in employment law, and we take a personalized approach to each case. From the initial case evaluation to negotiation and, if necessary, litigation, we provide comprehensive legal representation at every stage of the process.
Contact us today by phone at 713-960-6646, or contact us using our online form. Together, we will work tirelessly to protect your rights and stop age-based discrimination in the workplace.