Covid-19Worker Rights

April 30, 2020 by Southern Maine Workers Center

The CDC has said that individuals age 60 and older are more vulnerable to the Coronavirus. My employer decided to send everyone older than 60 home without pay to protect them. Is that legal?

Treating older workers less favorably than other employees, even if well-intentioned, can violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the MHRA.  

If you believe you have been discriminated against on the basis of your age, contact an employment discrimination attorney. You may also file a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission directly by filling out an online intake form or calling (207) 624-6290. Keep in mind that short deadlines may apply to your claims, including a 300-day deadline for filing a complaint with the Maine Human Rights Commission and a 45-day deadline for federal employees to initiate a complaint with their EEO counselor.

DISCLAIMER: This FAQ Sheet is intended to provide accurate, general background information regarding legal rights relating to employment in Maine. It is not legal advice. Because laws and legal procedures are subject to differing interpretations and frequent change, particularly in an emergency, the authors cannot ensure the information is current or be responsible for how the information is used. Do not rely on this information without consulting an attorney or the appropriate agency about your rights in your particular situation.