Do you ever feel like you’re invisible because of your age? Are there occasions where you think that perhaps your ideas and opinions are sidelined simply because of your age? If so, it likely means you have been a victim of age discrimination.
Age discrimination is sadly alive and well in the modern workplace, but there are ways to handle it properly if it happens to you or someone else. We will discuss what exactly ageism entails, look at some real-life examples from recent times as evidence, and offer advice on how to best take action against this kind of unfairness. Keep reading for all the details – don’t let an unjust system discriminate against any one group!
What is Age Discrimination?
Age discrimination is the unfavorable treatment of people or groups because of their age. Age discrimination can occur in any area, including but not limited to:
- Health services
- Access to goods and services
Age discrimination can also take the form of age-based stereotypes used to make decisions about people without considering their individual qualifications. These stereotypes can negatively impact older workers when it comes to hiring, promotions, and other professional opportunities.
What Qualifies as Age Discrimination?
Age discrimination may take many forms, from direct comments and harassment to more subtle actions such as not promoting or hiring older workers. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 is a federal law that protects workers over 40 from discrimination based on their age.
Examples of age discrimination in general:
- Denying an older person services or benefits that are available to younger people, such as discounts at a restaurant or access to certain programs.
- Refusing to hire someone due to their age.
- Prohibiting an older person from participating in activities or events because of their age.
- Making derogatory comments about someone’s age, such as calling them “too old” or “over the hill.”
- Treating a person differently because they look older than they actually are.
Examples of age discrimination in the workplace:
- Not hiring an older person because they are perceived as being too “old-fashioned” or not up to date with technology.
- Forced retirement before a certain age, even if the employee can still do their job.
- Discouraging older workers from applying for new positions.
- Refusing to promote or give raises to older workers due to their age.
- Creating a hostile work environment for older employees by making age-based jokes or comments.
What Are the Legal Consequences of Age Discrimination?
Working with age discrimination in the workplace can often be uncomfortable for everyone involved. It’s important to understand what constitutes age discrimination and the legal consequences of such actions.
Age discrimination laws provide protection against employers discriminating on the basis of age, race, gender, or other protected classes. Under these laws, it is illegal for employers to treat employees differently based on their age. This includes refusing to hire, firing, demoting, or not providing opportunities for advancement due to age.
When filing a complaint of age discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), employees should provide specific details regarding any instances of discriminatory behavior. Employees must also demonstrate that they are more qualified than any younger individuals being considered for the same position or promotion.
On the other hand, employers found to have discriminated against an employee due to their age can be subject to fines and penalties. In some cases, employers may also be required to pay back pay or hire the employee in question. They may also be required to post notices informing other employees of their rights under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
What You Can Do if You’ve Experienced Age Discrimination at Work
If age discrimination has been experienced at work, it is important to take action. Here are a few steps you can take:
- Document the incident(s): Keeping records of any incidents of age discrimination is essential to build a case if further action needs to be taken. Note when and where the incident occurred, what was said or done, and any potential witnesses.
- File a complaint with the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission): The EEOC is responsible for enforcing laws against workplace discrimination. They can investigate complaints of age discrimination and provide legal remedies if necessary.
- Consider filing a lawsuit: It may be worthwhile to pursue legal action depending on the severity of the age discrimination experienced. This should be done with the help of an experienced lawyer who specializes in employment law.
- Talk to coworkers or supervisors: Oftentimes, age discrimination can occur in subtle ways that may not warrant legal action but still need to be addressed. Talking to any involved parties about the situation can help resolve it without taking further steps.
- Be bold and speak up: It is important to remember that age discrimination in the workplace is illegal, and you have rights as an employee. Be sure to stand up for yourself and ensure that any potential incidents of age discrimination are addressed properly.
- Reach out for help or advice. Many organizations and services can provide advice or resources if you need additional support or counsel. It is worth reaching out to these groups if you feel overwhelmed or need help with what to do next.
Tips for Spotting and Avoiding Age Discrimination
To help protect yourself from age-based discrimination while job searching, here are some tips:
- Age discrimination can manifest itself in subtle ways: You may be asked about your age during an interview, or you may experience a sudden change in attitude when your interviewer learns your age. In addition, you may notice that employers are targeting job postings to younger candidates or avoiding using language that signals a specific age range (such as “recent graduate”).
- Focus on the job requirements: When applying for jobs, make sure you focus on the skills and qualifications required for the position rather than your age. Highlight the accomplishments that demonstrate you can handle any challenges presented by the job; don’t let your age distract from your achievements.
- Know your rights: Age discrimination is prohibited by federal law in most workplaces. If you believe you are a victim of age discrimination, familiarize yourself with your rights and the resources available to you.
- Consider other job search strategies: Ageism can be more prevalent in certain industries or among employers who prefer to hire younger workers, so consider looking for work outside those areas and targeting employers who value experience over youthfulness.
- Network: In addition to conventional job search methods, make sure you leverage your network of contacts and friends who may be able to introduce you to employers and provide referrals that can lead to a job opportunity. This strategy often helps bypass ageist recruiters or hiring managers in favor of an employer who values senior workers more highly.
Don’t Let Your Employer Get Away With Age Discrimination
Age discrimination is an example of employee discrimination that can devastate an individual. It is important to understand that there are laws in place to protect you from this type of behavior.
If you believe you have been the victim of age discrimination due to your employer’s actions, you should reach out to our team at the Fogelman Law Firm immediately. We specialize in employment law and can provide insight and guidance on moving forward with any claims or legal action.
Often, it pays to be proactive regarding possible workplace violations, so don’t hesitate to contact us today. We’ll provide personalized service tailored to your situation so that you receive the support and compensation you deserve in a timely manner. We’ll also guarantee that you will be informed about all aspects of the case and treated with respect every step.
Even if You Have a Small Claim, We May Be Able to Help
Don’t hesitate – call us today to find out about how we can help. As we provide a free initial telephone consultation, you will not owe us any fee to learn about your options and how we may be able to help. We represent clients in class action matters on a contingency fee basis, so there is no fee unless you and the others in the plaintiff class recover. And, if you are the “named plaintiff” in a class action fee, you may be entitled to an additional recovery for helping to bring a successful class action.