Barnes Law Firm

Age discrimination in the workplace in Missouri

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2022 | Employment Law

In 1967, Congress enacted the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which helps promote older workers’ employment and prevents discrimination at any point of their job. Unfortunately, people over 40 in Missouri still experience widespread workplace bias and inequity. Here’s what you need to know about this.

What is age discrimination in Missouri?

Age discrimination in Missouri is defined as any type of discrimination against a person 40 years of age or older. This can happen at any stage of employment, from job ads and interviews to firing and salary decisions. Age discrimination also includes harassment based on someone’s age.

What’s legal and what’s not?

While some forms of age discrimination are illegal, others are not. For example, it is legal for an employer to prefer a younger job applicant over an older one, as long as this preference is not the only factor considered in the hiring decision. It is also legal for employers to set different retirement ages for employees, provided that these differences are based on reasonable factors such as employee productivity levels.

However, it is illegal for employers to make decisions about hiring, firing, promotions, or salaries based on age alone. It is also illegal for employers to create a hostile work environment based on someone’s age.

How widespread is this issue?

Age discrimination in the workplace is a pervasive problem in Missouri. In a recent survey of workers over the age of 40, nearly 60% said they had experienced some form of employment discrimination because of how old they were. This includes everything from being passed over for promotions to being denied training opportunities and being treated unfairly by co-workers.

What can you do if you are a victim?

If you have experienced age discrimination at your job, you may be able to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC can investigate your claim and, if they find that discrimination has occurred, take action against your employer.

You may also be able to file a private lawsuit against your employer. If you win, you could be awarded damages such as lost wages and benefits, emotional distress damages, and punitive damages.

If you have experienced age discrimination in the workplace, it’s important to know that you are not alone. Thousands of workers in Missouri experience this type of discrimination every year. But the good news is there are laws in place to protect you.