Work is a day-to-day aspect of most people’s lives. Not only do Americans rely on employment for financial security, but feeling useful and productive can also provide a personal satisfaction. When discrimination of any kind against you or a fellow employee happens, it can be challenging to maintain focus, productivity and enthusiasm in the workplace.
Discrimination because of one’s age, race, gender, or religion is unacceptable under the law. Today, employees are protected from discrimination regardless of whether they are part of a union. The right to not be discriminated against is expressly set out under both federal and state laws.
A discrimination case involving a large insurance brokerage in New York was settled recently. Age discrimination was found in three separate cases--against a 45-year-old woman and two men, ages 57 and 61. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission considers age discrimination to be possible against any individual over 40 years old.
The insurance company did not admit guilt, but agreed upon a settlement of $300,000 in back wages to the three employees who were allegedly harassed and subsequently fired as a result of their ages. In each case, the worker was replaced by a much younger and less experienced individual.
If you have suffered discrimination in the workplace, or know someone else who has, restitution may be available. Discrimination of many types may be actionable, whether it is focused on your appearance, beliefs or how old you are. A legal professional may be able to help by explaining your legal rights and your options on how to proceed should you wish to sue.
Source: Newsday, “PJP Health settles age discrimination suit for $300,000,” Carrie Mason-Draffen, May 1, 2014