Age discrimination in West Virginia (WV) is not something many people talk about. However, it is a real issue for real people. Nobody should be singled out because of age, especially when it comes to employment or other factors that can influence a person’s future. While age discrimination may make a person feel bad, it goes much deeper than that. It is against the law. As a result, employers must take action to prevent and address WV age discrimination, and employees must report age discrimination when it occurs.
WV age discrimination at work takes many forms.
What Is Age Discrimination?
Age discrimination involves treating people unfavorably based on their age. This could include:
- Not promoting an individual because of age-related issues
- Firing an individual because of age
- Singling out an individual based on age
- Not hiring an individual based on age
- Indicating age restrictions on a job application
However, there are a number of other instances that could be considered age discrimination in WV. The law specifically protects people who are 40 or older. This is in response to the older population not receiving fair access to employment or advances based completely on their age. Statistically, this group consists of employees who are most likely to be the focus of such bias.
How Does the Law Protect People against WV Age Discrimination?
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) has made this a federal issue, which means that all states must follow this law. Any business that operates with 20 or more employees must adhere to this national law.
In addition, age discrimination in WV employment is prohibited by the WV Human Rights Act for employers with 12 or more employees. An employer’s failure to abide by this law allows a targeted employee to file a complaint with the WV Human Rights Commission (HRC) or a lawsuit in WV state court.
The Gray Area of the Law
While the law is certainly intended to protect, there are a few gray areas. For example, the law is not designed to protect younger workers.
The general idea is that people who are the focus of this type of bias are part of the aging community. This is not to say that younger people may not fall victim to of this type of treatment; however, the law does not focus on younger people.
Additionally, if an employer claims that an individual is “over-qualified,” this does not necessarily mean it is age discrimination although many people feel that it may be “code” for saying that an employee is too old for the job.
What Should You Do?
If you or someone you know is the victim of WV age discrimination, do not sit idly by as your rights are being violated. You can reach out to a knowledgeable attorney and also file a complaint.
To file a complaint, reach out to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This group is in charge of regulating the process associated with workplace discrimination, and you can locate its local WV office on its website. You may also choose to file a complaint with the WVHRC.
Seek Legal Advice for WV Age Discrimination
Have you or someone you know been a victim of age discrimination? Know that the law protects your right to employment despite your age. If you suspect that you have been unjustly terminated or singled out due to your age, reach out to those who can help you. The attorneys at Hendrickson & Long have been providing quality legal defense in WV age discrimination matters for a number of years. Allow their experience to work for you and contact them today to create the legal solution you deserve.