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Why older Americans need more protection at work

Making a derogatory comment to an employee who is 40 or older could be considered age discrimination. This is because they are protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Generally speaking, older employees are at a higher risk of being terminated, demoted or otherwise treated poorly at work because of their age. This is partially because companies may not believe that they can continue to learn and grow as technology evolves.

Furthermore, companies may be more likely to terminate older workers in favor of younger ones who command lower salaries. Therefore, making jokes at their expense could be seen as discriminatory, and it could result in an employer being held liable for damages.In some cases, an employer could be held liable for not doing anything about an employee or manager making jokes at an older worker's expense. It is important to note that a single comment typically won't constitute discrimination.

However, those who are consistently exposed to derogatory comments or jokes that imply a worker is too old to be relevant may have a stronger case. Employers should be aware of state discrimination laws when creating their workplace harassment policies. In New York state, all workers who are 18 or older are protected from being discriminated against based on their age.

Those who are terminated, demoted or otherwise harassed because of their race, age or gender could be victims of discrimination in the workplace. An employee may use manager statements, personnel records and other evidence to show that an employment decision was made illegally. Individuals who are found to be victims of employment law violations may be entitled to back pay or to be restored to a previous position. Workplace discrimination cases may be resolved either in court or through informal settlement talks.

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