Age Discrimination Issues In The Workplace

age discrimination issues in the workplace ageism work

There are many types of workplace discrimination - race, religion, and gender-related discrimination are some of the most common you hear about in mainstream media. Unfortunately, these are just a few of the many types you may experience at work. While older workers are often more experienced and can bring a lot of knowledge to the job, they are often the target of workplace discrimination. This type may not be as visible, but can be detrimental to the livelihood of older individuals. Here are a few things to look for if you feel you or a loved one may be experiencing this type of bias. If you feel like you’ve been victim to some of these situations, contacting a lawyer or firm versed in age discrimination cases is the best plan of action to protect yourself. 

Hiring 

If you are searching for a job, you may find yourself having a difficult time if you are over the age of 40. It is often assumed that older workers come with more experience, but that comes with a higher salary as well. While you may be the most qualified worker who interviewed for the job, you may be overlooked for a person who has just graduated college . This individual may bring less experience and knowledge to the table, but will likely work for a lower salary. Older workers may also come with higher costs, such as more expensive health insurance, giving younger employees an unfair advantage. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects workers over 40 against this type of treatment, and if you feel you have been turned down for positions because of your age, you may want to take legal action. 

Promotions 

If you’ve proven yourself a loyal and competent employee, you may still find yourself looked over for promotions or challenging projects due to your age. The assumption may be that, since you are older, you would not be able to handle complex assignments. It may also be assumed that, if you’re close to retirement, it would be inconvenient for the company to invest in your promotion. This practice is also illegal under the ADEA, and if there is a tradition of overlooking older employees for promotions in your company, you may have further proof for a legal case. 

Hostility 

While you may not be suffering from a lack of compensation for your work, discrimination can also show itself as verbal abuse, such as inappropriate comments. There are also other ways a hostile environment can be created for older employees, such as leaving them out of important decisions or encouraging them to work from home or out of the office. 

Retirement 

In cases of age discrimination in the workplace, being overlooked for promotions and hostility may take place together. This is often a purposeful action to steer older employees to an earlier retirement. While you may be offered the option to retire early and choose to turn it down, that still doesn’t protect you from being let go or fired from the company if they are truly looking to remove older employees. An employer can only mandate retirement in certain industries, such as law enforcement. If you feel you are being “pushed out” of the company, you may have reason to take legal action.

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