Discrimination based on a person’s age is illegal in Texas and violates both state and federal law. However, state and federal law only protect individuals who are over the age of 40. Age discrimination may include the following:
Comments or jokes about an individual’s age or particular age group;
Denying benefits to individuals who are over the age of 40;
Failing to hire an individual based on that individual being over the age of 40;
Creating a hostile work environment for individuals of a certain age group;
Denying an employee a pay raise or promotion based on that individual being over the age of 40; or
Providing an employee with negative performance reviews based on that individual being over the age of 40.
State and federal law also prohibit employers from retaliating against an employee who complains about age discrimination.
A victim of age discrimination must be over the age of 40. The harasser can be of any age, and may be another employee that you work with, including a co-worker or supervisor. If you believe that you have been discriminated against based on your age, it is important to complain internally to human resources or other individual(s) designated by your employer to handle employee complaints. It is also important to document any and all events that you believe constitute age discrimination to best protect your rights.
There are certain time limitations for filing a complaint based on age discrimination. Under state law, the Texas Commission on Human Rights Act, an individual must file a complaint no later than 180 days after the most recent occurrence of age discrimination. Under federal law, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), an individual must file a complaint no later than 300 days after the most recent occurrence of age discrimination. Therefore, it is imperative that you contact a knowledgeable employment attorney as soon as practicable.