Written by attorney Scott Luzi

Age Discrimination in Wisconsin

Age discrimination can come in many forms. It can occur if an employee is over the age of 40 years old, is witnessing the consistent promotion of younger employees, and has more education, skills, job tenure, and experience than the younger employees. It can occur if comments are made in the workplace about an employee's age.

Generally, age discrimination occurs when an employee is treated unfavorably because of his or her age, and age "discrimination" can include hiring, firing, promotions, job assignments, layoffs, training, fringe benefits, pay/compensation, or any other term or condition of employment.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA) protect employees who are over the age of 40 against unlawful discrimination. Wisconsin's laws prohibiting age discrimination (as well as the ADEA) were enacted to promote the employment of older workers based on their ability and job performance, as opposed to their age, and to limit unjust and arbitrary age limits and age discrimination in the workplace.

What Is Not Considered Age Discrimination In Wisconsin

If you are an employee in Wisconsin, the following would not be considered age discrimination:

  • If you are under the age of 40 years old;
  • If your employer favors an older employee over a younger one, even if both employees are over the age of 40;
  • If you are over the age of 40 years old but you are unable to perform your job duties;
  • If your employer varies your insurance coverage according to your age;
  • If your employer exercises an age distinction in hiring if knowledge and expertise to be gained is required for future advancement to a managerial or executive position; and
  • If you will be exposed to a physical danger or hazard.

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