Can a raise be denied based on age?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can a raise be denied based on age?

My 17 year old daughter has been employed at her job for a year. She asked for a raise. Her boss actually told her that he didnt give raises to minors. I definitely feel like this is a form of discrimination. It has nothing to do with her performance or reliability which are both good. Am I right?

Asked on March 2, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Tennessee


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In the workplace there can be no legally actionable discrimination; there can be no lesser treatment of an employee based on their nationality, gender, race, religion, disability or age (over 40). Specifically, as to age, there can be no discrimination based on a peron's age if they are over 40 years old; this is to protect older workers. However, any employee under 40 is not so protected. In effect, a younger worker can be discriminated against. The fact is that not all employees need be treated the same or even fairly (again absent the legally actionable discrimnation as described above). Therefore, unless your daughter is covered by a union agreemnt or employment contract she has no claim here.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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