Texas Age Discrimination Lawyers
Age discrimination lawyers represent employees and groups of employees who suffered discrimination at work because of their age. Age discrimination is prohibited in the workplace under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and Texas law. Employers are prohibited from treating employees or applicants over the age of forty less favorably than younger employees or applicants on the basis of age. If you believe you suffered discrimination from an employer due to your age then you should talk to employment discrimination lawyers in Texas right away. Age discrimination claims require you to act quickly to pursue your case.
How age discrimination occurs in the workplace in Texas
Age discrimination is prohibited in any part of the employment relationship, from hiring practices through termination. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) and Chapter 21 of the Texas Labor Code prohibit age discrimination in employment practices. These employment discrimination statutes prohibit employers from treating employees and applicants age forty and older less favorably due to their age. These laws apply to both public employers and private employers.
If you are forty or older, discrimination on the basis of age is unlawful when it has a negative effect on obtaining or keeping a job as well as the terms and conditions of employment. Common ways age discrimination can occur:
- Job advertisements
- Application processes and applicant screening
- Pre-employment inquires
- Job referrals
- Job assignments and promotions
- Compensation (both pay and benefits)
- Merit reviews, performance evaluation and raises
- Disciplinary practices
- Terminations, layoffs and reductions in force (RIF)
Two of these are most likely to form the basis of an age discrimination claims. First, the employer’s hiring practices can involve age discrimination. Employers may discriminate in hiring older employees out of a belief (whether true or untrue) that an older applicant is incapable of performing the job on the basis of age alone or that the older applicant will not remain with the company for a long period.
Second, age discrimination commonly occurs in termination practices, including reductions in force (RIF). In a RIF, the employer may seek to reduce its highest paid employees as a cost savings measure but those employees tend to be the older workers. The employer may also want to terminate specific members of management or employees in particular positions because of salary or age to bring in somebody younger or lower paid. These practices are typically prohibited age discrimination.
Additionally, under the Older Worker Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) older workers have special protections during a layoff or reduction in force. The OWBPA requires employers to give all employees over the age of forty at least forty-five days to consider a severance agreement and seven days to revoke a severance agreement after signing. If your employer fails to extend either time periods to you, then you may have an age discrimination claim under the OWBPA.
If you believe your employer discriminated against you due to your age, then you should talk to a Texas age discrimination lawyer right away.
Age discrimination through harassment and retaliation
Age discrimination also occurs through workplace harassment. Harassment occurs when the workplace becomes hostile through the acts of coworkers or management. Harassment occurs through words, pictures, emails, job assignments, threats and even physical contact. It becomes actionable when it negatively affects your job. It is always actionable when management is perpetrating the harassment. If it is your co-workers, it becomes actionable when management has a reasonable opportunity to stop the harassment but fails to do so. If you believe your employer created or permitted a hostile work environment on the basis of your age, then you should talk to an age discrimination lawyer in your area right away.
Your employer may also retaliate against you for bringing claims of age discrimination to the attention of management, HR, or a government agency. This retaliation is unlawful and creates an independent claim against your employer. Your right to work free from age discrimination includes the right to report unlawful discrimination and take steps to protect your rights. If your employer retaliated against you for speaking up about employment discrimination, then you should talk to Texas age discrimination lawyers right away.
Remedies for age discrimination in Texas
Both federal and Texas employment law give employees and applicants the right to recover from an employer who discriminated on the basis of age. These include back pay, front pay, attorney’s fees, reinstatement and other financial and non-financial remedies. Your employment attorney can talk to you about remedies available for your situation. You must act quickly to pursue an age discrimination claim. Employment discrimination laws require you to file a complaint with the appropriate government office in a limited time period. Federal workers generally must file their complaint with the EEO of their agency in just forty-five days. Other workers have between 180 and 300 days to file a complaint with the EEOC or the Texas Workforce Commission. Your age discrimination lawyer will want as much time as possible to investigate your claim and prepare your complaint. Do not delay contacting an employment law firm to discuss your claim. Although age discrimination is a focus of the EEOC, your employment lawyer can make sure you present the strongest case.