Age discrimination doesn’t receive nearly as much attention as sex discrimination and racial discrimination, but it is still a concern in many American workplaces.
Although federal law clearly prohibits discrimination based on age once a worker is 40 years old or older, many companies have policies that discriminate against older workers and employ managers or executives who discriminate based on age. What are some of the signs of age discrimination on the job?
Your opportunities seem to dry up as you grow older
With age comes experience and more connections in the industry. You are probably in a better position now to serve as a manager or to be a liaison for important clients.
However, you may find yourself not receiving good leads or denied access to good projects because the company wants to give those opportunities to younger workers.
You face pressure to leave, step down or retire
The last two-and-a-half decades of your career are when you can command a premium wage and really set money aside for retirement. Unfortunately, you may have an uphill battle if your company prioritizes youth over experience.
Some workers find themselves dealing with far stricter rule enforcement than younger workers do or getting pressure to retire early or move on to a different job despite wanting to continue advancing at the same company. When the company starts sending you not-so-subtle signals that they want you to move on, their actions may stem from ageism.
The culture at your office turns hostile
Do people joke about how you can’t even manage to make coffee with the new system, let alone handle new software, despite your obvious competence? If your company allows others to mistreat you, its contributions to the hostile work environment that you experience may be a form of age discrimination that opens the company up to legal action.
Fighting back against age discrimination can help you move your stalled career forward or seek financial compensation from an employer who harmed your prospects.