When you’re not yet 40 but are facing struggles in the workplace that you believe are because of your age, you may feel that you can simply prove discrimination and make your case. The reality is that the law only extends age discrimination protection to workers who are 40 years old or older.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t be discriminated against at a younger age. This only means that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act won’t specifically protect you in this case. Fortunately, each state has the opportunity to extend its own regulations and to set up laws regarding workers’ ages.
Do the laws in Minnesota protect people against age discrimination when they’re under 40?
Yes. Minnesota has two different laws that prohibit employers from discriminating because of a person’s age. According to the Minnesota Human Rights Act, discrimination is prohibited against anyone who is applying for a job or working for an employer and is 18 years of age or older. The only exception is if age is a specific qualifying component of the job.
Minnesota also has another law called the Minnesota Retirement Law. This law prohibits discrimination against those who are under the age of 70. The exceptions for this law include when state or federal law would specifically allow an employer to select someone by age, such as selecting a young actor for a TV show or other cases. Minnesota does allow for mandatory retirement at age 70.
Are all employers required to follow the Age Discrimination in Employment Act?
Not all employers are subject to the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, but those who have 20 or more employees are. This is something to keep in mind if you believe that you are being discriminated against at work.
Being young doesn’t mean you should face discrimination. If you think you’re being discriminated against, do your best to collect evidence to build your case. Keep emails, remember witnesses and write down the dates and times of problems when they arise. With enough evidence, your attorney may be able to help you make a case against the company for age discrimination, regardless of your age.