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Understanding the rate of age-related complaints in the workplace

With age usually comes knowledge and experience, but in the workplace, age is not always treated so kindly. In fact, the age of an employee or applicant is commonly cited in workplace discrimination claims. Employees in Minnesota should understand how age could be a form of discrimination at the workplace. Moreover, they should understand what actions could be taken when age discrimination occurs.

While it is popular belief that age-related complaints are among the highest types of discrimination complaints filed with the federal government, a report by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or EEOC indicates that 2014 is the sixth consecutive year that age discrimination cases have dropped. In addition, over the past two decades, the percentage of claims determined to be reasonable have been dropping as well.

Despite this recent trend, age-related discrimination still remains a concern. The 20,588 age discrimination case filings in 2014 are higher than in any year before the recession even though this number is down from the previous years. The recession is an easy way to explain the rise of age discrimination because it allows companies to cut costs and make room for younger workers.

Age discrimination claims are difficult to prove, especially when a business is undergoing a vast reorganization and budget cut. Despite the difficulty to prove instances of age discrimination, employees who are mistreated, laid-off, unlawfully terminated or demoted due to their age are afforded the right to file an action.

An age discrimination claim could result in damages awarded to the employee. This could help offset the losses and damages associated with the situation. In addition, compensation could be awarded to punish an employer for their actions. No matter the situation, if an employee believes that he or she is being discriminated against because of their ages, they should learn more about their legal options and remedies.

Source: Time, "Pop Goes the Age Discrimination Bubble," Dan Kadlec, Feb. 16, 2015

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