Whether searching for employment, aiming for a promotion, or simply trying to hold on to their current position, older women face extra challenges in the workplace. They face the dual threat of age and gender discrimination, which often hinders their chances of success.
Despite often having ample experience and qualifications, many sexist biases against women follow them while working during their older years. An employer’s preference for younger women at work could cause older women in the same workplace to experience gender and age discrimination. The compound discriminations could result in lower pay, fewer opportunities for advancement, and forced early retirement.
Age Discrimination Commonly Occurs in the Workplace
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) says 90 percent of workers surveyed in the United States say that age discrimination commonly happens at their place of work. A majority of women and men alike say that they experienced age discrimination while working.
Women are slightly more likely than men to say they experienced age discrimination at work. The AARP says 64 percent of women and 59 percent of men surveyed said that they experienced age discrimination.
While a vast majority of all workers say age discrimination occurs, very few file complaints. The AARP says only three percent of those surveyed said they filed a formal discrimination complaint.
What to Do if You Experience Workplace Discrimination
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says any age-based discrimination is illegal. The federal employment oversight agency investigates complaints filed by anyone age 40 or older.
If you have good reason to think you were passed over for a hiring opportunity, promotion, or other work-related matter due to your age, you could file a complaint with the EEOC. The EEOC will investigate a complaint and determine whether or not it has merit. When an age discrimination complaint has merit, you can then file a civil action in federal court.
An experienced business lawyer can help you to prepare an EEOC complaint and support it with evidence. The federal agency will have up to six months to investigate your claim and either approve or deny it. An approval enables you to move forward with a lawsuit against the discriminatory employer. That is true in the state court system, too.
Possible State-Level Action in Pennsylvania
Your attorney also can help with state-level filings that might enable you to file a civil complaint in the Pennsylvania court system. Pennsylvania law outlaws age discrimination and other forms of workplace discrimination.
The Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission (PHRC) investigates discrimination complaints. If it says your complaint has merit, you could pursue legal action in the state courts.
You do not have to file complaints with the EEOC and the PHRC. The federal and state agencies accept the decision of the other regarding workplace discrimination investigations. If you file with the PHRC and it says your complaint has merit, you can file a federal action as well as a state action.
Philadelphia Business Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Defend Workers’ Rights
If you were discriminated against at work, contact the experienced Philadelphia business lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green today. Fill out our online form or call 215-574-0600 to schedule an initial consultation at our Philadelphia law office. We represent clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.