Baby boomers represent the largest population group in the U.S. Fewer older workers are retiring, due to financial necessity and sustained good health. Employers are increasingly facing stringent workplace laws that prohibit age discrimination.
If you experience prejudice in your place of employment, help is available. The state of Oklahoma and federal statutes protect job applicants and employees from discrimination based on age.
State law: The Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Act
The Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Act bans discrimination against employees 40 years of age and older. Under the Oklahoma Anti-Discrimination Act, examples of illegal employer practices are:
- Denying an individual a job opportunity
- Restricting an employee’s participation in a training program
- Recruiting workers in job advertisements indicating preference based on age
- Retaliating against a person who has filed a discrimination complaint
Federal law: The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, or ADEA, is the federal law that forbids discrimination against an employee who is 40 years or older. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, enforces the ADEA laws.
Violations of the ADEA by an employer include:
- Hiring discrimination
- Unlawful termination
- Compensation inequity
- Menial job assignments
- Denial of promotions
- Preventing access to benefits
- Harassment leading to a hostile work environment or termination
Older employees bring rich life and work experiences to the job. Your passion for your career and unique contributions to the workplace are valuable. Learning the facts about age discrimination can safeguard your right to obtain and/or remain on the job.