An employee or a job candidate can be treated unfairly for any number of reasons, including their age. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) formally protects workers aged 40 or older from any form of discrimination in the workplace – but it still happens.
Here is how age discrimination can happen in the workplace.
1. Hiring restrictions
If the ad insisted on “tech-savvy,” “fresh-minded,” or “recent college graduate,” and other related terms, that’s often code for “only young people need to apply.” Similarly, if you were told during the interview that you were “too old,” that’s likely discrimination.
2. Failure to offer opportunities
Not hiring or promoting someone due to their age can be considered age discrimination. For instance, if you are skilled and have been with a company longer, yet only younger people are being promoted, you may be experiencing age discrimination.
3. Disrespectful comments
If your colleagues and bosses constantly make disrespectful comments and jokes about your age, you should be alarmed. These remarks can be uncomfortable, creating a hostile work environment, particularly if you’ve already asked them to stop.
4. Pushing you to retire
Your employer asking you to retire may be considered age discrimination – even if they do so in a way that doesn’t seem harsh or disrespectful. They may act like they are doing so in your best interest, but they want you to leave the company to hire someone younger.
Age discrimination is a serious issue that can affect your career and your financial future. If you believe you have experienced age discrimination in the workplace, it may be wise to get legal help to protect your rights.