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4 Seniors: How to fight age discrimination

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Age discrimination has become a more frequent complaint in recent years as more and more people are working into their retirement.

If you feel like you are a victim of age discrimination, proving that case can be extremely difficult.

A 2009 ruling by the Supreme Court raised the bar for the legal evidence that workers need to prove discrimination.

In order to fight age discrimination, here are the following steps you need to take:

  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act is your first defense against age discrimination. It's a federal law that says an employer cannot fire, refuse to hire or treat you differently than other employees because of your age.

The ADEA protects all workers and job applicants 40-years-old and older who work for employers that have 20 or more employees, including federal, state and local governments.

Contact your state labor department or your state's fair employment practices agency for more information.

  • Your first step is to file a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation.

You can either head to the nearest EEOC office or call 800-669-4000.

Once a charge is filed, the EEOC will investigate your complaint and find either reasonable cause or no basis for a claim. The EEOC will then send you their findings with a "notice-of-right-to-sue," which gives you permission to file a lawsuit in a court of law.

If you decide to sue, you'll need to hire a lawyer who specializes in employee discharge suits or age discrimination.

Another option is mediation, which is a fair and efficient way to help you resolve your employment disputes and reach an agreement. The EEOC offers mediation at no cost if your current or former employer agrees to participate.

At mediation, you bring your evidence, your employer shows theirs and the mediator makes a decision within a day or less.