Age discrimination is a growing trend in Mississippi and Tennessee as well as in the rest of the nation. Age discrimination is unethical and completely illegal. If you have reason to suspect that you have experienced discrimination of this kind, you can take action. Your best bet will be to adopt one of the strategies listed below.
Talk to your supervisor about possible discrimination
One of the first things that you should do when you experience age discrimination is to bring the matter to the attention of a supervisor. It’s a good idea to let them know what happened so that they can find a way to deal with it in a prompt and professional manner. In many cases, this will be enough to resolve the discrimination or harassment. Make your complaint in writing. Email is recommended. If the discrimination continues after you complain to your supervisor, you will need to file a complaint using a hotline or by going to Human Resources. If you need to file a complaint, while using words such as “favoritism” or “preferential treatment” could be construed as discrimination, it is helpful to your claim to say you are being discriminated against or treated differently because of your age. Use the actual words “discrimination” and “age” when you complain or something just as specific.
Keep a full record of every occurrence
You should keep a log that contains the date and a detailed description of every occurrence of what you believe to be discrimination. Be sure you note the names of all individuals involved in the incident or occurrence and what each said. These are your notes about what is happening that you believe is age discrimination and harassment. This will be a good way to preserve facts and build a timeline that shows how long these events have been going on and exactly what is happening. Notes you make now will be important to your case at a later date. Notes or a log is also a good way to show how actions may have escalated in the wake of employer retaliation if you made a complaint of discrimination.
Report a case of wrongful termination
Discrimination due to your age can take many forms. One of them may end in a case of wrongful termination from your current place of employment either as discrimination because of your age or in retaliation for complaining about discrimination and harassment based on age. This type of action is retaliation and could be resolved by filing another complaint with your company, alleging retaliation in addition to maintaining your original discrimination complaint. You can point out to the company that retaliation is strictly prohibited, not only by the law, but usually by company policy as well.
You can submit an inquiry to the EEOC
If the discrimination continues or begins to escalate, you may need to submit an official inquiry to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You can call their official number, contact them via their website (EEOC.gov), or send your inquiry by mail. It may be beneficial to contact an Employment Law attorney who is familiar with handling these types of matters and can assist with the EEOC process. It is important to note that the EEOC process can last a long time and the investigation of the Charge of Discrimination is handled in the order in which it is received.
Once your inquiry is received, the EEOC will schedule an appointment that may be a couple of months out to go over the information to include in the Charge of Discrimination (COD). The COD starts the official EEOC process. You must file a charge with the EEOC before you can file a lawsuit in court. Your employer must have 20 employees. You must be over 40 years old and be at least 5-6 years older than the person or persons you claim are being treated more favorably because they are younger than you. A private attorney can also give advice about this process, draft, and file a Charge of Discrimination on your behalf if there is an attorney-client relationship.