What Can You Do About Age Discrimination in Missouri?
Employers are legally prohibited from discriminating against any applicant or employee on the basis of gender, age, and other variables. However, the law does not always stop discrimination from occurring, though it does give you an avenue to address and stop discrimination. If you feel that you have been discriminated against because of your age, the attorneys at Cornerstone Law Firm can help. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.
The Missouri Human Rights Act
The Missouri Human Rights Act outlaws any discrimination of employees or applicants on the basis of their age in Missouri. More specifically, this act prohibits employers from refusing to hire someone or from firing someone based on the fact that the given applicant or employee is between the ages of 40 and 70 years old. It also prohibits employers from limiting, classifying, or altering the pay of their workers based on age. No preferential or unfair treatment can be applied because of age.
The Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act
Citizens of Missouri are not only protected at the state level, but at the federal level as well. The Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act is very similar to the Missouri Human Rights Act when it comes to age discrimination. The primary difference is that the Missouri Human Right Act caps the age of protection at 70 years old. The Federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act has no such cap. Employees who are 40 years old or greater are protected from harassment and discrimination by the federal ADEA as long as they work for a company with 20+ employees.
It is important to note that not all age discrimination is obvious. There may be some decisions that appear to be irrelevant to age but that actually do involve age discrimination. There are also situations that seem to be age discrimination, but are actually not. This is why it is so important to have the guidance of an attorney when you think that you may have been discriminated against.
How to Respond to Age Discrimination in Missouri
If you believe that you have been discriminated against because of your age in Missouri, you have every right to be upset. Yet, it is important that you do not act in anger, as this can create more problems. Rather, you will want to discuss your case with an age discrimination attorney to determine what your options are, moving forward, and whether or not it is worthwhile to pursue a claim. It can be very difficult to prove such discrimination, and age discrimination cases are known for being difficult to win. This does not mean that you don’t have a case, though. It simply means that you’ll want to discuss the situation with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney before taking any steps.
Potential Arguments Against Your Claim
When you bring a case of age discrimination against your employer, there are plenty of arguments that the employer is likely to make against your claim. They may say that they fired you (or did not hire or promote you) for a justifiable cause, which had nothing to do with your age.
If your employer replaced you with a younger worker or hired or promoted a younger worker instead of you, then they may argue that the younger worker had more education or other qualifications that you happen to lack. If you have made any mistakes or errors at work, then these can be used against you, as well, as an indication that you are a liability to the company.
Does This Mean You Don’t Have a Claim for Age Discrimination?
It is entirely possible that your case is not winnable because of the solid arguments made by your employer when you file a claim for age discrimination. However, this does not mean that you do not have a valid claim, and it is also quite possible that your case can be won. The important thing here is that you discuss the circumstances of your claim with an experienced age discrimination attorney. Your lawyer will explain how the law relates to your situation and whether or not you have a good chance of winning, based on the unique circumstances of your case and the potential arguments of the employer.
Contact the Attorneys at Cornerstone Law Firm
If you believe that you are a victim of age discrimination in Kansas City, Missouri, the best thing you can do is to contact an age discrimination attorney at Cornerstone Law Firm. We will be happy to provide a free consultation to discuss the merits of your case and what to do next.