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What rights do older employees have in a Colorado workplace?

You may be nearing the age when many people retire, or you may find that you are older than many of your co-workers, but you may not be quite ready to step away from your career. Perhaps you are an older individual who wishes to find employment that will allow you to supplement your fixed income. Either way, you may know how difficult it is to be an older employee in a Colorado workplace.

Older employees sometimes face difficulties in the workplace in the form of discrimination. In fact, employers may treat older workers unfairly solely based on their age. This is illegal, and there are federal laws, specifically the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, that protect your right to work. If you experienced age discrimination in any form, you do not have to suffer silently.

What does the ADEA mean for you? 

According to the ADEA, employers cannot show discrimination against any employee because of his or her age. This applies to any stage of the employment process, from the interview and hiring stage to decisions about termination. The ADEA makes it very clear regarding the types of behaviors that are unacceptable. Some of them include the following:

  • Employers cannot take away or reduce insurance benefits for older employees.
  • Employers cannot show discrimination against older applicants in the hiring process.
  • Employers cannot use age as a factor when making decisions on firing, giving promotions and making other employment decisions.
  • Employers cannot force older workers to take an early retirement.
  • Employers cannot list age requirements when posting job openings unless it is a legitimate requirement for the job. 

If you experienced age discrimination, you have the right to speak up and make a claim against your employer. In addition to the above protections provided by the ADEA, it also prohibits employers from retaliating against those who seek to protect their right to work.

Where should you start?

Experiencing age discrimination at work can be disheartening. You do not have sit by and hope it gets better or stay silent in hopes of keeping your job. You have the right to speak up and take action, but you do not have to do this on your own. There is significant benefit in working with an experienced employment law attorney from the very beginning. It may be helpful to start with a complete assessment of your case to learn more about the options you have.

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