Employers suspected of violating Colorado age discrimination law must make sure that they are not treating job applicants or employees less favorable solely because of their age. Without the right employment policies in place, Colorado employers can face severe penalties including large jury verdicts during litigation and EEOC investigations.
Age Discrimination in Employment Act
Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), Colorado employers are subject to workplace discrimination in Colorado if the claimant is age 40 or older.
However, employers must still keep uniform employment discrimination policies that apply to all ages.
The Colorado Anti-discrimination Act allows employers in Colorado to treat workers over the age of 40 differently. However, employers can still be subject to an unfavorable EEOC decision of the person inflicting discrimination and the victim is both over 40. How your respond to EEOC complaints is also essential.
Colorado Workplace Discrimination Laws Prohibit Various Work Scenarios
Colorado age discrimination laws prohibit workplace discrimination in all phases of employment. This includes pay, hiring employees, job assignments, training promotions or any other condition of employment.
It is generally unlawful for apprenticeship programs, including joint labor-management apprenticeship programs, to discriminate on the basis of an individual’s age. Age limitations in apprenticeship programs are valid only if they fall within certain specific exceptions under the ADEA or if the EEOC grants a specific exemption.
Job Announcements and Advertisements
Colorado workplace discrimination laws and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act generally makes it unlawful to include age preferences, age limitations, or specifications in job advertisements. A job notice or advertisement may specify an age limit only in the rare circumstances where age is shown to be a “bona fide occupational qualification” (BFOQ) reasonably necessary to the normal operation of the business.
The ADEA does not specifically prohibit an employer from asking an applicant’s age or date of birth. However, because such inquiries may deter older workers from applying for employment or may otherwise indicate possible intent to discriminate based on age, requests for age information will be closely scrutinized to make sure that the inquiry was made for a lawful purpose, rather than for a purpose prohibited by the ADEA.
Colorado Anti-discrimination Act – Harassment in the Workplace: Under Colorado age discrimination laws, employers also cannot engage in workplace harassment due to a person’s age. Unwanted behavior such as rude or offensive remarks, that are frequent and severe are off limits. These are all legal issues that could land employers in hot water for violating age discrimination laws during EEOC investigations.
Do You Have Sound Employer Age Discrimination Policies? As a Colorado employer facing allegations from an employee that has been wrongfully terminated, you should also make sure that your employment policies do not result in a negative impact to employees or job applicants over the age of 40.
When it comes to employment and Colorado age discrimination laws, courts realize that adverse employer actions are not always obvious. Therefore, the laws are structured where alleged age discriminatory actions can lead a jury to believe that the employee was treated unlawfully.
Having the right employment law discrimination defense lawyers on your team can make a huge difference when taking proactive measures or responding to EEOC investigations. See information about defending against employment discrimination lawsuits.
For legal defense services under Colorado workplace discrimination laws for employers, call Watson & Associates’ age discrimination lawyers for immediate help. 720-941-7200. We offer a FREE Initial Consultation.