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Photo of Michelle Cohen Levy

Can you be discriminated against as a younger worker?

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2022 | Workplace Discrimination |

Many people realize that they can be discriminated against for being an older worker and that they have some protections if that happens, but what about those who are under the age of 40?

Federally, protections are aimed at older workers who tend to be pushed out of their jobs or spoken down to when they don’t have the most current education. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 protects older employees against unfair treatment, but younger employees don’t have those same protections at all.

Despite that, many younger employees do face discrimination. Some are told that they’re not educated enough to take a role. Others are talked down to as if they’re children. Unfortunately, age itself is not a good enough reason for them to make a claim for discrimination. However, that doesn’t mean there is nothing they can do.

Harassment is something you have a right to stop

You have the right to stop harassment in its tracks. If you’re constantly being berated, mocked, spoken down to or treated unfairly because you’re younger, you may be able to seek support for harassment rather than age discrimination. When someone’s behavior makes your workplace a hostile work environment, you can take steps to stop that behavior. Talking to HR about others being rude or hostile with you in the workplace could be a good place to start.

Does Florida offer support for those under 40 facing age discrimination?

Interestingly, Florida does have laws that protect against so-called “reverse” age discrimination that could help you if you’re under 40 and believe your age is playing a role in how you’re treated at work. The protections apply separately from the federal age discrimination law but do require at least 15 employees to make a claim together.

If you’re discriminated against in any way, it’s worth looking into your options. You may be able to fight back, even if the federal laws don’t protect you. Special rules may apply within the state, or you may be able to file a different kind of claim to stop the behavior from continuing to occur.