Older workers in Texas may be concerned that they are not receiving a fair shake when it comes to job hunting, negotiating pay or seeking a promotion. Even 51 years after the Age Discrimination in Employment Act passed, workers over the age of 40 continue to face discrimination on the job. The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has shown that it is interested in zealously pursuing these cases, and the agency recently settled one case with restaurant chain Texas Roadhouse for $12 million.
There is a number of reasons why the EEOC is actively working to reduce age discrimination in the workplace. First, complaints about the practice have remained substantial and are even growing. In one survey conducted by AARP, three-fifths of workers age 45 or older reported personally suffering from age discrimination or witnessing others being discriminated against. This behavior continues despite the fact that age discrimination has been illegal for over half a century. In addition, stereotypes about older workers are common, and individuals can be dismissed for their age despite their technical knowledge, skills, innovation or experience.
In one U.S. Supreme Court case, older workers were told they had to prove that age discrimination was the “primary factor” causing a negative impact. It can be difficult to prove effectively that discrimination is primary even when it is clear it exists. While it is certainly possible to be successful with an age discrimination claim in court, the EEOC is taking action to pursue complaints at several workplaces.
Age is one of several categories that protect workers, including race, gender, religion or disability. Nevertheless, workplace discrimination continues to be an unfortunate reality for many employees, causing them to be denied equal pay or promotion opportunities. An employment lawyer can help victims of discrimination seek justice and compensation for their losses.