You probably think you can quickly identify occupational discrimination against you, but it is harder than you believe. Sometimes, age discrimination begins slowly then builds over time until you find yourself fired or in a hostile work environment.
At one time, age discrimination rarely occurred in people younger than 50 or 60. Now, it can happen as early as 40 in some industries. If you are the kind of employee that comes to work and does your job without paying much attention to others, you might miss the signs of discrimination, at least at first.
How do employers discriminate against aging workers?
There are several ways age discrimination can occur. In a blatant example, your boss could outright terminate your employment solely due to your age. However, most employers in the 21st century are savvy enough to mask their intent in subtle ways.
Examples of workplace discrimination based on age include:
- You are frequently passed over for deserved promotions.
- You are often the target of age-related jokes or comments in the workplace.
- Your superiors and coworkers assume you do not understand modern technology.
- You are excluded from work-related events or out-of-office social activities.
- Younger workers (even when less qualified) receive more challenging projects than you once received.
- Younger workers receive more training and advancement opportunities than you and other older coworkers.
- Your superiors begin reprimanding you for no reason (often a signal that your boss wants to fire you).
If any of the signs above apply to your situation, it is wise to start documenting the discriminatory conduct occurring in your workplace. Should you decide to seek a legal opinion, such documentation will play a vital role in resolving your situation.
We also recommend learning more about age discrimination in the workplace, including the legal remedies at your disposal.