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What is considered age discrimination?

There are several personal characteristics, including age, that your employer in Minnesota should not consider when making workplace decisions. You might feel unclear as to what actually constitutes age discrimination, especially as the regulations are not as comprehensive as some of the other factors protected by discrimination laws.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that age discrimination applies to you once you are older than 40. It is illegal for your company to have a policy in place that somehow creates a negative situation for those who are older than age 40. It is also illegal to include age as a factor when deciding about certain employment practices, such as the following:

  • Training
  • Benefits
  • Assignments
  • Firing or layoffs
  • Hiring or promotions
  • Salary

Although young people experience age discrimination, federal law actually does not apply to you if you are younger than 40. It also does not apply if your employer chose to favor someone older than you for a position, whether you are over the age of 40 or not. Depending on state laws, you might find that you have other protections if you are discriminated against for no other reason than your age, and you are under 40 years old.

If you are a victim of harassment due to your age, you may find protection in the law. However, for it to apply, you must experience repeated offensive behavior to an extent where the work environment becomes hostile. You may not have the same protection if the situation includes a single joke or comment, or banter that is meant to be taken in a lighthearted way. This information is intended to educate only and should not be considered legal advice.

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