In your later years, you may become next in line for a position you have long wanted. However, your supervisor may inform you that an employee half your age and relatively new to the company has been selected instead.
Is this an instance of age discrimination?
The law in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Fair Employment Act addressed age discrimination. The law prohibits discrimination against workers who are age 40 or older except in certain circumstances. All employers, employment and licensing agencies and labor unions must abide by the law. Workers must lodge complaints for age discrimination within 300 days from the date on which the incident occurred.
Protecting older employees
The Wisconsin law protects older workers in terms of hiring, job assignments, training and promotion. Discrimination law also extends to areas of pay and company benefits as well as wrongful discharge of a worker.
Not everyone is covered
There are exceptions to the law. If a position involves hazardous work, an employer does not have to consider an older worker. For example, the law does not protect an individual who is 60 to become a firefighter. School bus drivers must be between the ages of 18 and 70 in Wisconsin. Also, a younger person may receive employment or a promotion for a particular position if he or she possesses the knowledge and experience required and is a good candidate for advancement to a managerial or executive role.
Proving age discrimination
There are four standards you must meet if you believe you are the victim of age discrimination:
- You are 40 or older.
- You have performed your job satisfactorily and were qualified for promotion.
- A younger employee received more favorable treatment along with the new position.
- Your employer carried out an adverse action.
An attorney experienced with employment law in Wisconsin will tell you that in a situation where age factored into a denied promotion, the victim can sue for compensatory satisfaction.