Proving that an employer has discriminated against you because of your age has always been challenging. An employer who faced accusations could dream up a host of reasons to explain why they made decisions. Disguising the fact they based their decision on your age was easy.
A 2020 Supreme Court decision has made it easier for federal employees to claim age discrimination. Previously you would have to prove that age was the only reason you were not chosen. You needed to prove that you were equal to the candidate the employer chose in every other aspect an employer may consider when hiring.
Now, you only need to prove that a federal employer considered your age as a factor when making their decision. In other words, age cannot come into it.
Does this mean proving age discrimination will be simple?
No. Proving any discrimination is always challenging. Yet, it gives hope that it should be easier than before.
At what age can I claim age discrimination?
You can only claim age discrimination if you are 40 years old or more. So if you feel your employer decided you were too young for promotion because you were in your 20s or 30s, it limits your options.
What events can I claim age discrimination for?
You can claim if discrimination took place when hiring, firing or promoting. You can also claim when related to refusal of training or benefits or allocation of work. It may also be possible if continued agist comments create a hostile work environment.
Despite the challenges, it is crucial to consider action if you believe a federal employer has discriminated against you due to your age. It is only by people challenging employers’ decisions that federal agencies will feel compelled to create a fairer workplace.