Discriminating against workers and job applicants who are over the age of 40 on the basis of their age is illegal under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, but nonetheless it has been suggested that this kind of discrimination is prevalent in the U.S. Many older workers in Texas have walked a difficult road during the economic downturn in particular. Unfortunately, when job markets become tough, older workers are often the first to lose their jobs and the last to find replacement employment. They face discrimination on both fronts.
Two women have recently filed an age discrimination lawsuit against their former employer in Harris County District Court.
The women were hired by the Houston employer, a garden center, to work as merchandisers in 2007. They were fired in 2010, despite having no notable disciplinary histories, and they were told that their termination was due to business becoming slow, according to a lawsuit that they have now filed.
The women say that although they were fired under the pretenses of business needs, they were both replaced by younger workers.
The lawsuits state that the employer discriminated against them due to their age, compensation and the terms and conditions of their employment.
In many cases, older employees are discriminated against because they may command a higher salary or better working conditions than younger, less experienced workers. Or, an employer may simply assume an older job applicant would seek higher wages than a younger applicant and thus throw away the resume of the older applicant.
The ADEA, however, specifically states that it is illegal to fire or fail to hire a worker over the age of 40 because of his or her compensation, terms and conditions, or privileges of employment.
Source: The Southeast Texas Record, "Women bring age discrimination suit against former employer," John Suayan, Sept. 2, 2013