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Employer Says You Are Too Young for a Job. Is it Unlawful Age Discrimination?

You have been denied a job, denied a promotion, or fired from a job, because the boss feels that you are too young to hold the position.  Is that unlawful age discrimination?  Yes.  And, no.  The federal law on point, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of age, but only for people who are age 40 and above.  And, it does not cover reverse age discrimination claims, such as when an employer denies a job to, denies a promotion to, or terminates an employee from a job because the boss believes that the employee is too young for the job.  However, under the Michigan state law which prohibits age discrimination, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act, reverse age discrimination is prohibited.  Therefore, an employee who is denied a job, denied a promotion, or terminated from a job because the boss believes that he or she is too young for the job, may be able to hold the employer liable for reverse age discrimination — which under the Michigan law is, essentially, just plain age discrimination.

We hope you found this update helpful.  Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions.


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Joey S. Niskar
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