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How Age Discrimination Effects You

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It is your civil right to be treated equally. While we usually speak about civil rights in regards to race, religion, and nationality, today, discrimination reaches much farther. One of the most common types of discrimination is ageism. Ageism can work against people who are young and people who are old, but in all cases, it is illegal. If you live in the United States it is important to know your rights regarding ageism.

Ageism is basically discrimination against someone because they are old or young. This can happen in many different sectors of the public world. For example, say a business is hiring a new person for a job. Two people apply for this job and, based on their qualifications are called back for interviews. Each person has the same educational credentials. Each has the same experience in the field. If one is 30 years old and the other is 60 years of and the employer hires the 30 year old person simply because he or she is younger, this is ageism. Although people justify ageism in a number of ways, it is still discrimination. Thankfully, civil rights laws do protect against ageism in a number of instances.

The most major law surrounding ageism is the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. According to this act, the law prohibits age from becoming a factor public realm that received federal funding. For example, when applying for college, a university cannot deny you based on age if you are as well qualified as other, younger students who have been accepted. Volunteer programs, community organization, and other such federally funded programs have to offer the same treatment to everyone regardless of age.

But what about the employment situation in the example above? Since most businesses are not federally funded, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 does not apply to them. However, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act can protect you from some ageism in the workplace. Under this act, employers are not allowed to hire, fire, or make promotions based on age.

Employees, regardless of their age, must also be give equal benefits. The only exception to this is if the costs of those benefits are higher for older employees. If this is the case, the employer must offer lower benefits that are equal tin cost to the benefits that the younger employee is receiving. To go along with the, mandatory retirement is not allowed in most cases. Although many of these laws are meant to protect older Americans, ageism can also be a problem for younger Americans. If you are denied employment because you are younger than another applicant, even though you are better qualified, ageism is at play and you are legally protected. These laws apply to any employer who has 20 or more employees.

If you feel like you’ve been discriminated against because your age, it is important to file a complaint. Your local or state employment office can help you fill out the proper paperwork. Remember, just because it isn’t about skin color doesn’t mean that it isn’t discrimination.

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