What are Age Discrimination Lawsuits?

Vanessa Harvey

The term ""lawsuit is used to indicate proceedings that take place within the legal system for the purpose of settling disputes, stopping an action and compensating for a wrong that has been committed. "Discrimination" refers to the unjust or different treatment of an individual or group of individuals based on a prejudice that is held by the person who discriminates. Age discrimination lawsuits, therefore, are legal proceedings that are carried out in a court of law to determine whether the defendant or defendants are guilty of discrimination against the plaintiff or plaintiffs on the basis of age.

Enacted in 1967, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act seeks to safeguard the employment and workplace rights of older Americans.
Enacted in 1967, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act seeks to safeguard the employment and workplace rights of older Americans.

People might file age discrimination lawsuits to stop defendants from carrying out what they believe to be discriminatory practices, to remedy a dispute or to receive compensation for alleged damages sustained. Although age discrimination lawsuits generally involve plaintiffs who are more than 40 years old, younger people can also file suit if they believe they have been treated unfairly on the basis of their age. Despite various laws that have been enacted to help prevent age discrimination and, in turn, age discrimination lawsuits, the problem has continued in many societies.

Many age discrimination lawsuits are related to workers older than 40 in the working world. For example, a mature worker might view the actions of his or her employer as unfair and motivated by a prejudice against him or her on the basis of age. This could be the case in matters of hiring decisions, promotions, job duties, the determination of salary and even disciplinary actions taken against mature employees. Age discrimination lawsuits, like any other type of lawsuit, are often handled by attorneys. Those attorney might specialize in employment law or in some other area of law, depending on where the alleged age discrimination took place.

If the plaintiff wins such a lawsuit, he or she might receive monetary compensation for any damages that can be proved. The injured party might also be granted the return of his or her job if the complete loss of employment is involved in the case. Age discrimination lawsuits, like other legal cases involving various forms of discrimination, can be very difficult to prove in a court of law. Potential plaintiffs are almost always well aware of any laws against such practices and tend to be well informed by their corporate lawyers on the subject of how to avoid such problems. This is because any type of lawsuit could prove costly, both financially speaking and in terms of an individual's or company's image.

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Discussion Comments


I think age discrimination lawsuits are going to become more common as the first of the Generation Xers start turning 45 and older. Since Social Security is looking none too stable and many people will have to depend on a 401(k) or some kind of retirement plan for their later years, they are more apt to fight being laid off, especially if they feel it's because of their age.

If a person who is still up on computer skills, social media, etc., is laid off and a younger person is hired, the company may not realize what it has lost in terms of institutional knowledge and a professional example for the younger employees.

I can see this happening a lot in the next 10 years or so.

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