Age discrimination occurs when a job applicant or employee is treated less favorably because of his or her age. It is illegal for your employer to discriminate against you because you are age 40 or older. Discrimination can occur even if the person who discriminated against you is over 40. Employers must not allow managers, coworkers, or others in the workplace to harass you because of your age.

An employment practice that applies to everyone, regardless of age, can be unlawful if it negatively impacts people age 40 or older without a strong enough business justification.

Though there is no Federal law that protects younger workers from age discrimination, some states have such laws.

You have the right to file a complaint or a Charge of Discrimination, participate in an employment discrimination investigation or lawsuit, or oppose discrimination without being retaliated against by your employer.

Examples of discrimination

In general, this means that you cannot be:

  • fired,
  • rejected for a job or promotion,
  • given lesser assignments,
  • forced to take leave, or
  • otherwise disciplined

because of your age, if you’re 40 or older.

Questions? We’re here to help.

For assistance, please contact the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC):

Learn about filing a complaint

We’ll help you decide what to do next and determine whether filing a complaint is the best course of action. You must file a complaint within a certain timeframe to take further legal action, so it is best to begin the process early.

Please note that it is illegal for your employer to fire, demote, harass, or otherwise retaliate against you for reporting an issue to the EEOC.

File with EEOC