Age Discrimination in Massachusetts
Age discrimination refers to unequal treatment based on a person’s age, whether it is intentional or not. This can take many forms, including discriminatory hiring practices, unequal pay or benefits, and hostile work environments. Massachusetts law prohibits age discrimination in the workplace and provides a number of protections to employees who believe they have been subjected to such treatment.
Examples of Age Discrimination
Age discrimination can manifest in a variety of ways. Some common examples include:
Discriminatory Hiring Practices: An employer may unfairly discriminate against an applicant based on their age during the hiring process, such as by not considering them for a job because they are over a certain age or by assuming they are not able to perform the job due to their age.
Unequal Pay or Benefits: An employer may pay an older worker less than a younger worker for doing the same job, or provide them with fewer benefits, such as paid time off or retirement benefits.
Hostile Work Environment: An employer may create a hostile work environment for an older worker by making age-related comments, subjecting them to harassment based on their age, or by excluding them from opportunities for advancement or development.
Discrimination During Hiring and Promotions
Age discrimination can also occur during the hiring and promotion process. For example, an older worker may be passed over for a job or promotion in favor of a younger candidate, even though they have the necessary qualifications and experience to perform the job. This type of discrimination is illegal under Massachusetts law and can result in significant penalties for employers.
Age Discrimination Protection Under Massachusetts Law
The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) is responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws in the state. If you believe you have been subjected to age discrimination in the workplace, you can file a complaint with the MCAD. The agency will investigate your claims and, if appropriate, take legal action against the employer.
In addition, Massachusetts law prohibits retaliation against employees who file complaints of discrimination or who participate in investigations into such claims. This means that if you file a complaint of age discrimination, your employer cannot take adverse action against you, such as demoting you or firing you.
Exceptions to the Age Discrimination Law
It is important to note that there are exceptions to the law. For example, some employers may be allowed to make employment decisions based on age if they can show that age is a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) for the job in question. This is a narrow exception and applies in limited circumstances, such as when the nature of the job requires a certain level of physical or mental ability that cannot be met by a person of a certain age.
Massachusetts Age Discrimination Lawyers
Age discrimination is a serious issue in the workplace and can take many forms, from discriminatory hiring practices to unequal pay or benefits. Massachusetts law provides a number of protections to employees who believe they have been subjected to such treatment. If you believe you have been the victim of age discrimination in the workplace, you should contact Attorney Adam Shafran to learn about your rights and options for seeking justice.