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What is age discrimination?

Discrimination is an unfortunate reality in the workplace. Despite laws disallowing it, on a daily basis, workers in Illinois are subjected to unfair treatment that prevents them from performing their jobs to their full potential. This discrimination can even prevent them from obtaining a job for which they are highly qualified. Those who believe they have been discriminated against by an employer may want to take legal action to right the wrong, but the first step in that process is understanding the type of discrimination at hand.

Let's look at age discrimination. Here, an employer treats an employee or an applicant differently from others solely based on the employee or applicant's age. In practice, this means any action taken by an employer that disproportionately affects older employees may be considered age discrimination.

This type of discrimination can be found in just about any aspect of the employment process, from hiring to training, compensating, promoting and firing. Employers often have to make active efforts to ensure they are not operating in a way that discriminates against older workers. It is worth noting, however, that protections regarding age discrimination only kick in for employees who are over the age of 40.

Age discrimination is more common in the workplace than many think. Oftentimes, this is because the discrimination may be subtle. However, an action doesn't have to be aggressive and in your face to be considered discriminatory in nature. Instead, workers need to look at how those employer actions affect members of certain classes, whether they be based on age, race, or religion.

It never feels good to be passed over for a job or promotion, or be laid off, but it can be tougher to swallow when the reason for those decisions is based on discrimination. The good news is that wronged workers don't just have to sit back and accept these decisions as reality. Instead, they can work closely with a legal professional of their choosing to help them bring a strong employment law claim. Perhaps then they can achieve a favorable outcome that leaves them well-suited in their line of work.

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