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Age Discrimination

Justice starts today with a confidential attorney consultation.

Age discrimination in the workplace is one of the most common types of illegal employment discrimination. In the last 25 years, the number of workers age 55 and older in the American workforce has doubled, and unfounded assumptions about age and ability continue to drive age discrimination in the workplace in Maryland.

At the Employment Law Center of Maryland, we take workplace age discrimination cases across Maryland, and litigate cases before the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR), as well as local equal employment opportunity and human relations commissions. If you're looking for a Maryland age discrimination lawyer near you, get in touch with us today.

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Justice for age discrimination in the workplace starts today with a confidential lawyer consultation.

Federal AGE DISCRIMINATION Law

The most important federal law prohibiting age discrimination in the workplace is the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (the ADEA). The ADEA prohibits age discrimination in employment, and promotes the employment of older workers based on their ability—not their age.

The ADEA protects both current employees and job applicants who are age 40 and older. Because of this requirement, younger employees with "reverse" age discrimination claims should consider pursuing their claim under state or local laws (see below).

note on ADEA's age requirements

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) only protects workers age 40 and older.

The ADEA prohibits age discrimination in the workplace in: hiring; promotion, discharge, compensation, and terms, conditions, or privileges of employment. It applies to employers who have 20 or more employees for each working day in either the current or proceeding year. Because of this requirement, at Employment Law Center of Maryland, we often advise individuals working for smaller employers (i.e., less than 20 employees) to pursue age discrimination cases under state or local law.

note on which employers the ADEA applies t

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) only applies to employers with at least 20 employees.

Contrary to popular belief, the ADEA does not explicitly prohibit employers from asking about a job applicant's age, or taking an employment action against them (e.g., hiring or firing) as long as the employer has a bona fide occupational qualification reasonably necessary “to the normal operation of the particular business.” In other words, if the employer can show that (1) that the age-based employment requirement is reasonably necessary to the essence of the business, and (2) that an individualized approach would be pointless or impractical, the employer can hire, fire, and take other employment actions based on age. This is a narrow exception, and generally applies to the employment of firefighters and law enforcement officers. If your employer is asking for your age, and doesn't have a compelling reason for doing so, you should contact a Maryland age discrimination lawyer.

reasons an employer can ask your age on a job application

A prospective employer can ask your age on a job application, but only if they have a compelling lawful purpose for needing that information (i.e., safety).

court case on age discrimination

In Feldman v. Nassau County, 434 F.3d 177 (2d Cir. 2006), the court ruled that states can discriminate based on age with respect to the hiring and firing of firefighters or law enforcement officers.

At the Employment Law Center of Maryland, we file workplace age discrimination cases under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) in the federal U.S. District Court for the District of MarylandContact us for a confidential consultation with a Maryland age discrimination lawyer today.

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Justice for age discrimination in the workplace starts today with a confidential lawyer consultation.

MARYLAND AGE DISCRIMINATION LAWS

The state law prohibiting age discrimination in the workplace is Md. Code, State Gov't § 20-606 (known as Title 20). Title 20 states that "[a]n employer may not fail or refuse to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to the individual's compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment” or “limit, segregate, or classify its employees or applicants for employment in any way that would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect the individual's employment status” because of the individual's age.

Importantly, Maryland's Title 20 does not have a minimum age requirement to bring a claim of age discrimination in the workplace, unlike the ADEA. If you are a younger (i.e., 39 or younger) Maryland worker with a "reverse" age discrimination claim, a Maryland age discrimination lawyer may recommend that you pursue your claim under state or local laws rather than the ADEA.

age requirements for age discrimination in Maryland

Unlike the ADEA, Title 20 has no minimum age requirement to bring an age discrimination in the workplace claim.

Title 20 only applies to Maryland employers that have 15 or more employees for each working day in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year. Title 20 also allows age discrimination in the workplace claims to be brought against the Maryland state government.

requirements for employer age discrimination in Maryland

Title 20 only applies to employers with at least 15 employees.

Like the ADEA, Maryland's Title 20 has a an exception for bona fide occupational qualifications "reasonably necessary" to the normal operation of a business or enterprise—meaning Maryland employers may engage in age discrimination in certain circumstances. If you think your employer is asking into your age without a bona fide justification, you should contact a Maryland age discrimination lawyer immediately.

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When you're ready to start fighting back against age discrimination in the workplaceyou won't be fighting alone.

local AGE DISCRIMINATION LAWS

A number of Maryland counties have enacted their own workplace age discrimination laws, including the counties highlighted below.

map of every county in Maryland that has a workplace age discrimination statute or law against age discrimination in the workplace

Local Maryland ordinances prohibiting age discrimination in the workplace include:

  • Baltimore City. The Baltimore City Code prohibits age discrimination in the workplace by employers with at least 15 employees.

  • Baltimore County. The Baltimore County Code prohibits age discrimination in the workplace by employers with at least 1 employee.

  • Frederick County. The Frederick County Code prohibits age discrimination in the workplace by employers with at least 15 employees.

  • Harford County. The Harford County Code prohibits age discrimination in the workplace by employers with at least 5 employees.

  • Howard County. The Howard County Code prohibits age discrimination in the workplace by employers with at least 5 employees.

  • Montgomery County. The Montgomery County Code prohibits age discrimination in the workplace by employers with at least 1 employee.

  • Prince George's County. The Prince George's County Code prohibits age discrimination in the workplace by employers with at least 1 employee.

Maryland's ADEA requirements for employers

Unlike the ADEA and Title 20, some Maryland counties' age discrimination in the workplace laws apply to employers with less than 15 employees.

If you're facing age discrimination in the workplace, it's important to speak with a Maryland age discrimination lawyer who can determine which federal, state, or local laws may apply to you.

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A personalized, winning strategy for your age discrimination in the workplace case is just a click away.

How do I sue for Age Discrimination?

Suing for age discrimination in the workplace in Maryland requires you to comply with strict deadlines. A skilled Maryland age discrimination lawyer will help you file the necessary complaints and keep track of the relevant deadlines.

 

Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), you must file an administrative complaint of age discrimination in the workplace with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) before filing a lawsuit in court, and you must file your administrative complaint of age discrimination in the workplace within 300 days of the discriminatory act (e.g., your firing).

 

However, unlike most other employment laws, you can file an age discrimination in the workplace lawsuit in court any time after 60 days have passed from the day you filed your administrative complaint. If the EEOC issues you a notice that it has concluded its investigation into your administrative complaint, you must file your age discrimination in the workplace lawsuit in court within 90 days of receiving the notice.

EEOC requirements for age discrimination charge

In Maryland, you must file an administrative complaint of age discrimination in the workplace with the EEOC within 300 days of the discriminatory act.

age discrimination lawsuit timeline

You can file an age discrimination lawsuit in court 60 days after you file your EEOC administrative complaint.

EEOC notice of right to sue for age discrimination

If you receive a "notice of right to sue" from the EEOC, you must file your age discrimination in the workplace lawsuit in court within 90 days of receiving the notice.

Under Maryland's Title 20, you must file an administrative complaint of age discrimination in the workplace with the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR), the EEOC, or a local/county human relations commission within 180 days of the discriminatory act. Once 180 days have passed since you filed your administrative complaint, you can file an age discrimination lawsuit in a Maryland circuit court.

timeline for filing age discrimination claim in Maryland

Under Title 20, you must wait 180 days after filing your MCCR administrative complaint of age discrimination in the workplace to file a lawsuit in court.

It's important to note that the damages you can receive for age discrimination in the workplace are different under the Age Discrimination and Employment Act (ADEA) and Maryland's Title 20—and generally your options are better under Title 20 or a local/county law. For example, under Title 20, you can be awarded compensatory damages, back pay and interest on back pay, and “any other equitable relief the complainant is entitled to recover under any other provision of the law.”

At the outset of any age discrimination in the workplace case, it's important that you speak with a Maryland age discrimination lawyer who can assess which federal, state, or local laws are most favorable for you and your case.

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Justice for age discrimination in the workplace starts today with a confidential lawyer consultation.

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When you're ready to start fighting back against workplace age discriminationyou won't be fighting alone.

Blog Posts

For more on workplace age discrimination in Maryland, check out the most recent blog post on this topic by the Center team:

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A personalized, winning strategy for your age discrimination in the workplace case is just a click away.

Helpful Links

For additional resources on age discrimination in the workplace in Maryland, check out the following helpful links:

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Justice for age discrimination in the workplace starts today with a confidential lawyer consultation.