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EEOC takes harder stance on ageism

Employees over the age of 40 in New York and throughout the country are protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. However, age discrimination still happens, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, is getting tougher when it comes to pursuing age discrimination claims. The acting chair of the EEOC said that it was a topic she takes personal interest in.

She also mentioned that discrimination against older workers is common and done in a causal manner in many workplaces. According to a report by the EEOC, a worker's age is not indicative of his or her skill level. However, many companies discriminate based on age in a manner that isn't tolerated when talking about a person's gender or race. This is partially because it can be hard to prove that such discrimination took place. The Supreme Court requires workers to show that age was the primary factor in an employment decision.

As the workforce gets older, efforts by the EEOC could be even more important in protecting worker rights. The acting EEOC chair mentioned that future generations of workers could face additional challenges as algorithms are used to screen for workers to fill open positions. Those who are labeled as members of Generation X are approaching 50, and this is a time when age discrimination can become more prevalent.

Employees who are demoted, not allowed to participate in training courses or denied a promotion may be victims of ageism. Individuals who believe that age played a role in an employment decision may be entitled to compensation or other relief. Evidence of ageism may include statements made by a manager or a lack of hiring or promoting those over a certain age. An attorney may also help a worker gather evidence of discrimination.

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