John A. Klassen, PA Minnesota Employment Law Attorney
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Who does the Age Discrimination Employment Act protect?

Whether they are seeking to return to work, are changing careers or hope to obtain a promotion in their current position, some residents in Minnesota face career challenges due to their age. Such a situation is considered age discrimination and employees and applicants should understand their rights regarding this issue. Furthermore, there are state and federal laws that protect certain employees from the problems in the work environment.

Who does the Age Discrimination Employment Act protect? According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Act protects individuals that are 40 of age or more from discrimination in the workplace based upon their age. This applies to employees and applicants who experience this type of discrimination.

Employees and applicants should also be aware that the ADEA does not apply to all employers. It only applies to those that employ 20 or more employees. This includes employment agencies, state and local governments, federal government and labor organizations.

The protections of the ADEA include job advertisements and notices, apprentice programs, benefits and pre-employment inquiries. Employees and applicants should be aware that they could waive their ADEA rights. If an employer asks the employee to waive his or her rights or claims under the ADEA it is a legal request and such requests are actually quite common in settling discrimination claims in connection with employment termination programs or exit incentives. However, the ADEA requires specific minimum standards be met in order for these rights to be waived both knowingly and voluntarily.

Age discrimination, like any other form of employment discrimination could result in serious hardships for the employee dealing with these issues. In such matters, employees and applicants do have rights such as filing a claim for damages, such as lost wages. No matter what an individual decides to do in the situation, they should be knowledgeable of their rights and options. This will ensure they take appropriate steps and measures in the situation.

Source: Eeoc.gov, "Age Discrimination," accessed on Dec. 2, 2014

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