We frequently hear the phrase “age is just a number” but oftentimes in the workplace that is not the case. Recently in the news there have been several stories about age discrimination in the workplace. Joel Boone, a Mississippi high school boys basketball coach in his mid-70’s, became a victim of age discrimination as he was relieved of his duties in early September and replaced with “someone younger” to rebuild the program. Although it is not a topic regularly discussed in the media, age discrimination happens every single day, even in Knoxville and the East Tennessee area. But what is age discrimination? How do you know if you have been a victim of age discrimination?

Am I a victim of age discrimination?

Age discrimination involves treating an applicant or employee less favorably because of his or her age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects workers over the age of forty. It prohibits age discrimination in all aspects of employment, such as hiring, firing, pay, promotion, layoffs, benefits, and other aspects of employment. If you are younger than 40, the ADEA does not protect you.

Here are some of the qualifying factors to prove an age discrimination case:

1. You must be at least forty (40) years old.
2. The employer took a materially adverse employment action against you.
3. You were qualified for the job you held or wanted, or you were meeting the employer’s reasonable expectations.
4. A person who is similar to you but who is less than forty (40) years old was treated better than you.

So what should I do if I feel like I have a case?

If you or a family member feels like you may have experienced age discrimination in the workplace, you should seek the advice of a lawyer experienced in age discrimination cases. The lawyers at the Nelson Law Group will help you understand your case and the law around it.

Call us today at (865) 383-1053 to discuss your case or for more general information about all types of employment discrimination, harassment, and retaliation, visit