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Our Blog Age Discrimination: The Basics

 | Age Discrimination: The Basics

Age discrimination is illegal, yet some often overlook it. Workers who are 40 years or older protection from age-based employment discrimination under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). If age discrimination has affected you, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and federal litigation are your key routes to justice. This blog post guides you through these processes.

The EEOC Charge

To launch a lawsuit under the ADEA, you first need to file an EEOC charge. In South Carolina, you have a 300-day deadline from the date of the alleged discrimination. It’s crucial to detail every incident of discrimination, identify those involved, and provide supporting evidence. Then, the EEOC takes over for investigation and determination.

From Determination to Mediation

After receiving your charge, the EEOC may propose mediation between both parties. If mediation doesn’t resolve the issue, the EEOC requests a position statement from the employer. Once the EEOC completes its investigation, it issues a letter of determination. If the EEOC finds a reasonable cause for discrimination, it attempts to resolve the charge through conciliation. However, most often, the EEOC issues a “Notice of Right to Sue,” giving you the green light to pursue a federal lawsuit.

Federal Litigation under the ADEA: The Ultimate Fight

Filing a lawsuit is a significant step. Due to its complexity, legal representation is highly advisable. The litigation process starts with filing a complaint detailing the alleged age discrimination. Then, it proceeds to discovery, settlement discussions, and possibly, a trial.

Under the ADEA, you’re entitled to several remedies if you’ve faced age discrimination. These include back pay, front pay, and job reinstatement. If the employer willfully violated the ADEA, you might receive liquidated damages – twice the amount of awarded back pay. The ADEA does not provide emotional distress or punitive damages as opposed to some anti-discrimination laws. However, it does guarantee the right to a jury trial. A jury trial enables a group of your peers to determine the case outcome, which might be more favorable.


Understanding the EEOC charge filing and federal litigation processes under the ADEA is vital if you’ve experienced age discrimination. Though it’s a demanding journey, with honest and experienced legal guidance, you can navigate it effectively. With 30 years of experience litigating disputes and a track record of handling age discrimination cases since 1995, Andy Arnold is ready to battle into the trenches.

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