Michigan Age Discrimination Attorneys
Federal, state, and local laws prohibit multiple types of discrimination in the workplace. Whether you are an employee, contractor, or a job applicant, you have the right to equal opportunities at work. And yet, some types of discrimination feel easier to identify than others.
If you believe you have been singled out or treated unfairly at work because of your age, it can be difficult to understand your rights and how to protect them. You may be worried that reporting your concerns could result in retaliation or negatively impact your career, reputation, and future earning potential.
The experienced team of age discrimination attorneys at Sommers Schwartz, P.C., understands what is at stake in employment disputes. If you have suffered workplace discrimination, harassment, or retaliation based on your age, we want to help. Sommers Schwartz, P.C., is dedicated to fighting for the rights of Michigan workers.
What Is Workplace Discrimination?
Discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employee is singled out and treated differently than other employees. Several federal, state, and local laws prohibit employment discrimination based on perceived characteristics, such as race, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, age, sex, disability, and many more.
The actions that may constitute age discrimination are far-ranging and can be quite subtle. If you have been harassed or treated unfairly because of your age, contact our attorneys immediately to learn more about your options and whether you should consider filing a complaint.
Federal and State Age Discrimination Laws
The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits age-based employment discrimination against anyone 40 years or older. In addition to a broad prohibition of age discrimination, it specifically prohibits:
- Discrimination in hiring, promotions, wages, and termination of employment and layoffs.
- Statements of specification in age preference or limitations.
- Denial of benefits to older employees.
- Mandatory retirement, in many instances.
Important to Note: Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act prohibits employers from discrimination based on age. Unlike the federal law, Michigan’s age discrimination law places no age restriction and also protects younger workers.
Age Discrimination Complaint Process
The appropriate venue for your complaint depends on the specific facts of your case. An employment lawyer with experience in age-related discrimination can help you navigate the process of documentation and reporting to your employer, as well as the complaint process with relevant state or federal agencies. They should also be able to represent your interests in court, if necessary.
If you are the victim of age discrimination, your options for filing a complaint may involve:
The Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR)
Filing a formal discrimination complaint with the MDCR is not a lawsuit, and yet representation by an experienced discrimination attorney is critical to protect your rights. The MDCR is an administrative agency and does not represent you.
An MDCR complaint requires that the discriminatory act occurred within the past 180 days. MDCR will conduct an impartial investigation, where you and your employer (or accused person) may introduce evidence to support or defend against the complaint. MDCR may conduct a conference with both parties (and their counsel) to reach a resolution. Parties may also end the investigation by reaching a settlement.
The United States Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC)
The EEOC is the federal equivalent to Michigan’s MDCR and may be an alternative venue for your complaint. A complainant in Michigan typically has 300 days from the date of the discrimination to file a complaint with the EEOC. In some cases, you must file with the EEOC and receive a Notice of Right to Sue before filing a discrimination lawsuit in court.
The deadlines for both MDCR and EEOC claims often lapses before an employee decides to pursue action. If you believe you have been a victim of any kind of discrimination in the workplace, it is critical to seek representation from an experienced employment lawyer as soon as possible. The skilled attorneys at Sommers Schwartz, P.C., can help you navigate the entire process, from gathering information to submitting claims to the MDCR or EEOC to fighting for your rights in court.
Legal Claims and Damages for Employment Discrimination
Once the right to sue notification is received, an employee has 90 days to file a lawsuit in court. Having representation throughout the MDCR or EEOC process can be critical in meeting this deadline.
In most state and federal discrimination cases, the employee may be entitled to receive:
- Lost wages, current and future.
- Compensation for other economic losses, such as lost benefits or pension.
- Compensation for non-economic losses, such as emotional distress.
- Punitive damages meant to penalize the employer.
Contact a Michigan Discrimination Attorney at Sommers Schwartz
The attorneys at Sommers Schwartz, P.C., have decades of experience bringing claims before the MDCR and EEOC and successfully litigating complex discrimination issues in court. If you have been the victim of age discrimination in Michigan, let the team at Sommers Schwartz, P.C., fight for your rights. Call us today for a free consultation at (800) 783-0989.