The penalties for violations of the ADEA can be severe. Victims can receive the following if they are successful in their claims:
- back pay, damages are based on the earnings of the plaintiffs and the time that they are out of work
- front pay,
- liquidated damages (up to twice the amount of back pay) may be awarded in the event of a "willful" violation, if the employee proves that employer knowingly violated the ADEA or acted in "reckless disregard" of its provisions,
- Other actions that will make an individual "whole" (in the condition she or he would have been but for the discrimination).
How are Age Discrimination Cases Settled?
Age discrimination charges are investigated and enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, created by the eeoc act. (EEOC) The EEOC encourages parties to engage in alternative dispute resolution by mediation.
Mediation in ADEA Claims
Mediation is a legal process by which two opposing parties agree to take their dispute to a impartial trained mediator in an attempt to resolve their disputes without the need for a drawn out court process. In mediation, each side presents their position to the mediator. There are usually some joint sessions and sessions where each party meets individually with the mediator. Mediation continues as long as the parties appear to be working toward a compromise. Either party can stop the process at any time by deciding that they do not agree with the proposed settlement. The mediator is not subject to subpoena by any party. Any information given to the mediator is confidential including the EEOC.
Binding Arbitration in ADEA Claims
Arbitration and Binding Arbitration is also a potential option for resolution of charges of age discrimination. If none of the alternative dispute resolutions is successful, the EEOC will issue a right to sue letter, which allows the victim to file a lawsuit against his employer within the employee's eeoc rights.
Hiring Legal Representation
Assessing the damages to which you may be entitled is complicated. An experienced employment lawyer could give you the best advice as to what your potential damages may be. They could also assist you in assessing the benefits of alternative dispute resolution.
The ADEA was enacted to protect workers over the age of 40 for discrimination in employment. The penalties for violating the act can be severe. It includes reinstatement, front and back pay and increased damages for intentional violation of the law. Competent legal counsel is advised to navigate this complicated area of the law.