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Women face greater burden of age discrimination at work

Women in New Jersey who focus on their careers later in life face challenges based on both gender and age stereotypes. Although many people harbor negatives associations about both older men and women, people judge older women more harshly on their physical appearance than older men according to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

In the workplace, management might perceive older women as unable to keep up with the pace of work or lacking in technological knowledge. Assumptions like these sometimes create discrimination in the form of lack of promotion, marginal work assignments or outright job termination.

Older workers might insulate themselves from these discriminatory attitudes by networking with younger employees and seeking sponsorship from upper management. Sponsorship involves asking to contribute to important assignments and actively trying to demonstrate value to the company.

A person who detects overt age discrimination at work, such as jokes or derogatory references about older workers, should document these incidents every time. This documentation could serve as evidence if a person needs to file an age discrimination complaint. Courts place the burden of evidence on victims, and age discrimination can be hard to document when employers mask their mistreatment of people as business decisions.

When someone suspects that workplace discrimination is occurring, the person may seek insights from an attorney. A legal evaluation of the situation might inform a person when an employer has crossed the line into illegal behavior. In addition to age, the law protects workers from discrimination based on sex, disability, religion and race. To defend the person from further mistreatment, an attorney might pursue financial damages by filing a lawsuit. Initially, an attorney may strive to gain a settlement during pretrial negotiations, but a trial remains a possibility when a discriminating employer resists responsibility.

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