Imagine working hard and performing well at work, only to find yourself out of a job because an employer believes you are too old. Unfortunately, age discrimination like this is very real and has devastating impacts on workers.
So what rights and protections against age discrimination are available to workers in Oregon?
Age discrimination occurs when an employer treats an employee or job applicant less favorably because of their age. Federal law protects any person over age 40 from age discrimination, while Oregon law protects those over 18 years old from age discrimination.
This means that an employer cannot, for example, refuse to hire a person based on a perception that “old people” are less productive or incapable of using modern technology.
Similarly, it generally constitutes wrongful termination to discharge employees based on their age or to establish mandatory retirement policies, unless there is a bona fide, non-discriminatory reason for doing so.
Employers also cannot create or tolerate a hostile work environment in which workers are demeaned or harassed because of their age.
What to do if you face age discrimination
If you experience age discrimination on the job, it is important to speak to an experienced attorney. Age discrimination is unlawful and you may be entitled financial compensation or other relief.
There can be strict time limits on filing complaints and lawsuits against employers, so you should not delay.