Case studies: Age

Area: Employment
Ground: Age
Result: Resolved voluntarily at the investigation stage

A woman alleged that she suffered age discrimination in the area of employment. Upon returning from medical leave, she was informed that there was no longer a position available. However, the employer was continuing to advertise available positions. The investigation revealed that the woman had recently attained the age of 65. Her colleagues and employer assumed she was going to retire, in part because of comments made by her regarding looking forward to her birthday and the age-related benefits that would ensue. However, age is a protected ground under the Alberta Human Rights Act. Unless an employer can justify a certain age as a bona fide occupational requirement there is no mandatory age of retirement that an employer can enforce on an employee. Merit was found and the complainant was awarded three months salary and damages for pain and suffering.

Revised: December 14, 2011


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