In Florida, and throughout the country, one type of discrimination that is outlawed in employment is age discrimination. Age discrimination takes place when a job applicant or an employee receives unfavorable treatment because of his or her age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act specifically prohibits employers from discriminating against workers who are 40 or older. Unfortunately, this still does sometimes occur, but when it does employees do have the right to pursue legal action.
An octogenarian recently filed an age discrimination lawsuit against Boynton Beach accusing the city’s library of firing him due to his age and aching hips.
The man in this case was 80 years old in 2011 when he asked the library to grant him four months of unpaid medical leave in order to recover from his hip-replacement surgery. Not only did the library deny his leave request, but it also fired him, citing economic pressures.
In its termination letter to the man, the city reportedly welcomed him to apply for other openings, and although he applied for five different openings, he was never hired.
Unfortunately, allegations of age discrimination are not uncommon in our state. According to the Sun Sentinel, Florida actually leads the country when it comes to both age discrimination and disability discrimination complaints. In 2011, 1,694 age discrimination complaints were filed against Florida employers, and 1,789 disability discrimination complaints were filed.
Age discrimination remains a problem throughout the U.S., however, as the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has stated that 20 percent of the discrimination complaints that it fields involve age.
This is an unfortunate trend, and it is important for victims of age discrimination to continue to come forward in order to hold employers accountable and obtain damages for their losses.
Source: Sun Sentinel, “Boynton Beach facing age-discrimination lawsuit,” Ben Wolford, Feb. 19, 2013