Age discrimination is a serious problem in this country. According to a recent report by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the majority of older workers face age discrimination at their workplace. It can be rather disheartening for the millions of victims, who may still have a lot to offer despite their age.
Facing discrimination for something outside your control, such as your age, is unlawful. If this happens to you, it is important to safeguard your legal rights.
What the law says
Age is among the protected classes. Therefore, any stereotyping, harassment or discrimination of someone because of their age is against the law. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects workers aged over 40 years in workplaces with more than 20 employees.
However, most employees who face age discrimination are unaware it’s happening to them, which is perhaps why most of these cases go unreported.
Indications of age discrimination
Picture an employer overlooking your abilities for certain tasks you used to carry out efficiently because they perceive that the years have caught up with you. In such a case, you might find yourself suddenly moved lower in the pecking order, locked out of opportunities in favor of younger workers.
Some indicators of ageism include:
- Feeling isolated or left out because of your age
- Age-discriminatory policies in the workplace
- Being forced or overly persuaded to retire early
- Constant snide remarks about your age and any infirmities you have
- A pattern of older workers being passed over for promotions
All these can point toward age discrimination, and you should take action.
Are you a victim of age discrimination?
If you face age discrimination at your workplace, you need to file a claim against your employer with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) as soon as possible, ideally within 180 days.
If your employer seems to have taken the approach of “out with the old and on with the new,” you can get justice with the proper guidance and assistance when filing your claim against a discriminatory employer.