Although age discrimination is illegal in Washington workplaces, it still occurs. Employees who face such discrimination at work are entitled to fight back against their employers.
What is age discrimination?
Age discrimination occurs when an employer discriminates against an employee or applicant due to their age. Per the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, it’s illegal to discriminate against anyone in the workplace based on their age. The law covers people 40 and older. Individuals cannot be discriminated against when it comes to hiring, termination, raises, promotions, application processes and apprenticeships.
How does an employer discriminate against an employee based on their age?
Often, an employee who faces age discrimination might be passed up for a promotion or raise that they are due. Sometimes, a younger employee who has fewer years of experience at the company might get the promotion instead. The employer might also show indifference to helping an older employee invest in their career or refuse to hire an applicant who is fully qualified for the job based on their age.
Older employees who have been with a company longer typically earn more money than their younger, less experienced counterparts. However, when age discrimination occurs, the older employee might suddenly be laid off while younger applicants are hired as replacements.
It’s illegal for employers to include mentions of age in job postings or advertisements for potential applicants. For example, stating that the company is seeking to hire new employees who are under the age of 40 is against the law. Employees and potential applicants of all ages are expected to receive the same treatment and not be omitted from any opportunities. While it’s legal for employers to ask for people’s birthdates on job applications, they are not permitted to use age as a reason to not hire them or provide current employees with benefits or perks they are rightfully due.