//--> Overland Park Employment Lawyer and Age Discrimination Claims
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Were you terminated or treated unfairly because of your age?

One does not need to go to law school to know that an employer cannot discriminate against an employee because of the employee's race, religion, national origin or gender. The federal authority for this is Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. If one is wrongfully terminated, with one of these factors being considered, the employer is liable to the employee for back pay, front pay, punitive damages and attorney's fees.

It is a violation of federal law for an employer to discriminate against an employee on the basis of age. This protection is set forth in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment. Each of the above-referenced statutes are federal. In Missouri, the Missouri Human Rights Act (the MHRA) provides state remedies for discrimination based on each of the above categories (except age). The MHRA prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, national origin, gender and disability. The MHRA provides to the prevailing plaintiff: compensatory damages, punitive damages, and attorney's fees. In most cases, the framework through which a plaintiff must operate to prove discrimination is set forth in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, a 1973 case ruled on by the United States Supreme Court. First, the plaintiff must show by a preponderance of the evidence a prima face of discrimination. "Prima facie" means simply that the unrebutted facts indicate unlawful discrimination.

For example, a woman did not receive as high of a salary as similarly situated men at her place of employment. Second, if the plaintiff meets this initial burden, then the burden shift to the defendant to show a legitimate, nondiscriminatory basis for this treatment. Third, if the defendant prevails on this burden, then the plaintiff has the opportunity to prove that the reasons offered by the employer were simply to cover a discriminatory motive.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is the federal law governing age discrimination. It was enacted in 1967. The ADEA prohibits an employer from refusing to hire, firing, or otherwise discriminating against an employee age 40 or older, solely on the basis of age. An employer cannot deny an employee pay or fringe benefits when the only justification is age. Nor may an employer classify employees into groups on the basis of age in a way that unfairly deprives workers of employment opportunities. For example, an employer may not relegate all older workers to a particular level of employment within a company and then decline to promote them. Not all employers are covered by the ADEA, and each claim must be examined on its own merits.

If an employer is treating you unfairly because of your race, religion, national origin, gender, disability or age, don't put up with it. If you believe that this is happening, call Patrick Copley of Copley Roth & Davies, LLC, for a free consultation.

Call (913) 451-9500 for a free consultation with Attorney Patrick Copley.