If you were laid off or fired from your job in the Dallas, Fort Worth, or Mid-Cities area and are an older worker, you may have been the victim of age discrimination. This type of employment discrimination is prohibited under both Texas and federal laws. However, many employers still perceive workers negatively as they age, some employers violate age discrimination laws when making hiring, firing, promotion, and other job-related decisions.
Federal and Texas Laws That Prohibit Age Discrimination
Both federal and Texas laws protect individuals who are at least 40 years old from age discrimination at their workplaces. The major laws prohibiting this unlawful behavior are:
● ADEA. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) applies to companies that employ 20 or more individuals and prohibits discrimination in all aspects of employment. The individual who is engaging in the illegal discrimination may be a supervisor or co-worker. An employee is defined broadly and can include individuals who work part-time.
● Texas Labor Code. The Texas Labor Code also forbids employers from engaging in age discrimination and applies to those that employ 15 or more workers. It protects against discrimination in all aspects of a job and also prohibits retaliation if a person makes an age discrimination complaint.
● Older Workers Protection Act. This law makes it illegal for a business to target older workers for layoff. It also gives employees protections when asked to surrender their rights to sue in a termination waiver as part of an incentive program to get them to leave their job voluntarily.
● Disparate Impact. Deliberate or latent discrimination in decisions involving individual employees is called disparate treatment. Sometimes, however, an employment practice or policy that is age neutral on its face (in other words, it applies to everyone, regardless of age), can nevertheless constitute illegal discrimination if it has a significant adverse impact on applicants or employees over 40, and it is not based on a reasonable factor other than age. This is called disparate impact. Walt Taylor obtained a large verdict against a municipality in 2011 on behalf of approximately thirty (30) police officers, which was upheld on appeal.
How Employers Violate Age Discrimination Laws When Terminating Employees
There are many ways that an employer can illegally discriminate against individuals based on age in hiring or promoting, during their employment, and when deciding to terminate them. Examples include:
● Asking a person’s age on a job application
● Specifying a certain age range in a job listing
● Having an apprenticeship program that favors younger workers
● Providing different benefits based on an individual’s age
● Harassing an employee about his age
● Initiating layoffs that primarily affect older workers and are not justifiable by other business reasons
● Terminating an employee based on his age
● Retaliating against an individual, such as by discharging him, for filing a complaint of age discrimination
Contact Us If You Believe That You Were Wrongfully Terminated Due to Your Age
Proving that you were fired or laid off because of how old you are can be difficult, and you must follow specific federal and state laws when filing your complaint. Attorney Walt Taylor is an experienced employment law attorney who fights for the rights of individuals who were wrongfully terminated due to their age and other illegal discriminatory reasons in the Dallas, Fort Worth, and Mid-Cities areas, as well as other parts of Texas. To discuss your situation and learn about your legal options, contact our office to schedule a free consultation with Walt.