If an employer is required to follow the tenants of federal or Minnesota state age discrimination law, then it may not discriminate against individuals who are at or above the age of 40. Discrimination based on age can happen at any point in the employment process, from the review of new hire applications to the termination of current employees. When it does occur, workers may be wrongfully harassed, discriminated against or terminated based on their inclusion in the class of older individuals.
Older workers have rights, though, and should understand them to prevent harassment and discrimination from impacting their rights to work. For example, older workers cannot be forced to retire when they reach a certain age. Also, older workers cannot be singled out for firing when a company decides to reduce the size of its workforce.
Employment benefits can take on different forms, and older workers may worry about losing their health insurance coverage when they lose their jobs. However, some employers may look to cut insurance offerings to older workers, but this action is prohibited. Older workers may not have their health or life insurance coverage scaled back or eliminated by their employers.
Being an older worker can be an asset to an employer because with age comes experience, knowledge and poise that may be lost on youth. Not every employer sees their older employees in this light, though, and some make take illegal action to attempt to drive older workers out in favor of replacing them with younger individuals.
When age discrimination happens in American workplaces, workers can take action to stop it. Employment law attorneys may be consulted to provide case-specific support to those who are struggling under such detrimental employment situations. It is important to be aware of your rights so you can take steps to protect them.