As a narrow exception to that general rule, a job notice or advertisement may specify an age limit in the rare circumstances where age is shown to be a "bona fide occupational qualification" BFOQ reasonably necessary to the essence of the business see question 6. This means you can agree to waive your right to sue for something that already happened, but you cannot waive your right to sue for something that hasn't happened yet. Employers now encounter such practical and legal issues as providing nursing women with an appropriate place to pump and store breast milk while at work; granting personal leave, modified schedules, or altered job duties to employees who breast-feed; and dealing with the social acceptability of breast-feeding or expressing milk within the workplace. Can I be asked to sign something waiving my legal rights? Some states, however, have passed laws either to make it illegal to discriminate against women who breast feed, or to specifically require that employers accommodate nursing mothers at work by providing adequate facilities for breast-feeding or expressing milk. The company must follow the "equal benefits or equal cost" rule, by providing either equal benefits to older and younger workers, or paying the same benefit costs for all employees. Can I be fired or not hired because a younger employee costs the company less?
Who is covered by the law? Employers now encounter such practical and legal issues as providing nursing women with an appropriate place to pump and store breast milk while at work; granting personal leave, modified schedules, or altered job duties to employees who breast-feed; and dealing with the social acceptability of breast-feeding or expressing milk within the workplace. In the case of layoffs, a company cannot use age as the basis for determining who is laid off and who is kept on. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act ADEA , discussed below at number 2, is a federal law that protects individuals 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. For example, if a restaurant had a minimum height requirement for servers, presuming that shorter people generally cannot carry the required weight on a tray, a less restrictive alternative could be the requirement that all servers must be able to carry a set of minimum amount of weight on a tray. This is a legal term that means that you must receive something in exchange for signing that you would not have received otherwise, like a larger severance package or additional benefits. Yes, in very limited circumstances. Employers must therefore give pregnant employees and temporarily physically disabled new mothers the same treatment and benefits that they give to employees with other temporary disabilities. A male chef with similar training and work experience was recently hired, and you find out that he will be paid more than you; you are a top salesperson for your company, but are moved to a less desirable territory while a man with much lower sales is given your territory and client base, enabling him to make much more in commissions than you will make for several years. If you are a state employee who has suffered age discrimination, you may need to discuss your individual situation with an attorney to figure out how best to proceed. What is the difference between sex discrimination and gender identity discrimination? While weight-based disability claims have generally failed under the federal anti-discrimination law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, they have occasionally succeeded under the laws under certain states which either define disability differently or specifically make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of weight or personal appearance. Age limitations in apprenticeship programs are valid only if they fall within certain limited exceptions; consult with an attorney if this may affect you. Transgendered people can face serious discrimination in the workplace, generally because of a failure to conform with traditional sex stereotypes or gender roles. You may wish to consult with your company's human resource department or your personnel handbook to learn more about how the plan may benefit you and other female employees. However, for some people, gender identity does not always align with one's anatomical sex. Are all older workers protected under the law? If your workplace has fewer than 20 employees, you may still be protected under the laws of some states, even though your employer is not covered by the federal ADEA. Age discrimination may be accompanied by other forms of illegal discrimination as well, such as sex , race , or disability discrimination. Many states also make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sex. In an important U. As long as an employee is performing his or her job duties, generally the answer is no. An employer cannot retaliate against an individual for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on age or for filing an age discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under the ADEA. However, in some more recent court decisions, courts have concluded that transsexual persons are protected from discrimination under Title VII and other sex discrimination statutes, based upon a more recent U. Can I be paid less because I'm a man? For more information of protections specific to employees of federal contractors see our federal contractors page. For more information, see our page on sexual harassment.
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