“Respect your elders” is a phrase that most people in Minnesota are familiar with. And, for the most part, people follow this age-old advice. But, as with most things, there can be instances when people don’t live up to the standards that society sets. In the workplace, if someone is discriminated against due to their age, it could result in an employment discrimination lawsuit.

But, how do you know if you are being discriminated against due to your age? After all, many forms of discrimination are subtle, and those who are engaging in this type of illegal behavior don’t want to be caught. For instance, in some cases of age discrimination, a qualified employee might be bypassed for a promotion, instead seeing a younger employee take the spot. Perhaps management will justify the slight on grounds other than age, but sometimes that alternative explanation just doesn’t add up.

Or, what about cases in which older – and more highly compensated – employees are downsized by a company? The employer might say that it is a cost-cutting move, but is it about more than just salary? And then there are the most blatant forms of age discrimination, which can include harassing comments or jokes at the older employees’ expense. If these types of comments continue, it may cause a hostile work environment for older employees.

At our law firm, we work with our clients to hold employers accountable when they allow or participate in age discrimination. State and federal laws are in place to protect workers in Minnesota. For more information about this issue, please visit the age discrimination and harassment overview section of our website.