There are many factors in determining whether you were or currently experiencing ageism in the workplace. It may be too subtle to notice at first, or could be glaring if you lost your job due to ageism, but that shouldn’t deter you from seeking justice. The offices of Mark J. Berkowitz PA in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, can help you determine the best course of action in getting the compensation you deserve. 

Defining Age Discrimination

Age discrimination is when an employer illegally fires, refuses to hire, or otherwise discriminates against individuals based on their age. The Florida Civil Rights Act also gives additional protection to older workers, such as an employer, or employment agency cannot engage in practices which results in an older person not being hired for a job based on their age, including labor organizations who may try to refuse membership or discriminate in any other fashion against people based on their age. An employer also can’t segregate, restrict, or classify employees or job positions in a way that would deprive older individuals from applying for these opportunities or affect their status in the hiring process. Labor organizations and employers cannot market advertisements or create materials which may discriminate an individual based on their age either. 

Ageism In The Workplace

The number of age-related discrimination charges filed with employers by workers who were over the age of 65 has doubled from 1990 to 2017. With the added bonus of people living longer and potentially needing to work for longer periods of time before retiring, age discrimination may only continue to rise. Knowing what constitutes ageism in your place of employment can keep you guarded against any discrimination you may face, whether it’s a one time instance or it occurs periodically over years. The federal statute protecting older Americans is similar to the Florida Civil Rights Act but reaches across all of the US. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (or ADEA) prohibits discrimination of any part from the employer, including hiring, firing, wages, promotions, layoffs, working assignments, job training and fringe benefits, as well as any other term or condition of employment. The ADEA also protects you against the employer retaliating against your claim of age discrimination or if you refuse to participate in the employer’s discriminating practices within the workplace.          

The Florida Civil Rights Act does allow a “bona fide occupational qualification” (or BFOQ) to be enacted on the part of the employer. In this qualification, a type of employee may not be considered for the role depending on the job conditions, which are “reasonably necessary for the performance of the particular employment”. Such examples would be casting for the role of Spiderman and excluding such persons aged over 70, say, due to the high level of acrobatics needed. But the Florida Civil Rights Act does protect you against smaller employers than the ADEA, whose reach is for employers with twenty or more employees and typically apply to federal, state or local government, and to private employers. 

Seeking Justice

Now that you know what age discrimination entails, it may be easier for you to acknowledge when it may have happened in your own place of employment. Nearly 44% of employees report they or someone they know experienced ageism in their workplace. An employment discrimination lawyer can help you navigate the next steps involved in determining your grounds for a case and how to best approach your current or former employer. 

Contact Us

Are you ready to speak with a discrimination lawyer today about the potential case you have against your employer? Mark J. Berkowitz PA is standing by to assist you through this process. Ageism in the workplace is only rising, and you need to protect yourself with only the best in Fort Lauderdale representation. Call us today!