The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) protects individuals who are forty (40) or older from discriminatory conduct by employers. There are two theories used for purposes of establishing age discrimination: discriminatory treatment and discriminatory impact.
In discriminatory treatment cases, the employee must show that he or she (a) is in the protected class (e.g., 40 or older), (b) was qualified for the position and (c) show that he or she was discriminated against because of age.
Discriminatory impact cases can be proven when a policy or practice disparately affects the over 40 age group more than other age groups. For instance, if a Reduction-In-Force disparately impacts individuals over 40 by a significant margin, Employers must be able to show an appropriate defense, such as a business necessity, for such a differential in treatment. Proving an age case can often be more difficult than other forms of discrimination. If you are an employer or employee, you should seek knowledgeable counsel to be protect your interests under the current law.
Mr. Hennessy has handled hundreds of discrimination matters, including age discrimination. If you feel you have been discriminated or retaliated against or if your company is subjected to a discrimination or retaliation suit, contact Hennessy Law for a consultation on how to best protect your interests.