Age discrimination is where an employee is treated differently, or unequally, in the workplace on the basis of his or her age. Human rights legislation protects workers from age discrimination at every stage of their employment. This includes during hiring, while they are working, and when their work ends. Violating these laws may give rise to a lawsuit, which could result in a substantial monetary award.
Recently, age discrimination lawsuits are on the rise. This is in part because age has become an important issue in the workplace. The workforce is aging and without a mandatory retirement age in Ontario (with few exceptions), many older workers are choosing to stay in the workforce. This has exposed employees to discriminatory practices and employers to age discrimination lawsuits.
The rise of age discrimination lawsuits is an important development for employers and employees alike. On the one hand, employees understand that they are protected from age discrimination in the workplace and that they can seek recourse if treated differently on the basis of their age. On the other hand, employers are better able to understand their legal exposure and how they can protect themselves from such claims.
If you are an employee who thinks you have been discriminated in the workplace because of your age – or if you are an employer who would like to learn more about your legal exposure to a claim of age discrimination – consult with an employment lawyer today.
Author: Ozlem Yucel, Whitten & Lublin