Navigating age discrimination and FMLA

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Age Discrimination |

Age discrimination in the workplace is an important issue. This is especially true for older employees who might also need to take advantage of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Understanding your FMLA rights and how they intersect with age discrimination laws protects both your career and your well-being.

Understanding FMLA

The FMLA entitles eligible employees to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons, with continuation of group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. Eligibility criteria include having worked for the employer for at least 12 months and for 1,250 hours over those months.

Age discrimination concerns

Older employees may hesitate to request FMLA leave due to fears of discrimination. This concern is particularly relevant in industries that favor younger employees. For example, older employees might feel that their leave requests get extra criticism. They may see that younger employee’s leave is easily accepted. In this case, the employer may be violating employment law by discriminating against someone for taking FMLA leave.

Legal protections

Both the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the FMLA provide protections that can safeguard older employees from unfair treatment. If an employee believes that their rights have been violated, it is important to document all interactions related to FMLA leave and any instances of suspected age discrimination. This documentation helps support a potential age-related employment law case. Age should never be a barrier to accessing your legal entitlements under the FMLA.


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