Age discrimination occurs when a worker is treated unfairly or less favorably because of age. While it can affect both young and old workers, it is more common for more senior employees to face discrimination due to stereotypes and biases.
Laws at both the state and federal levels prohibit any form of discrimination in the workplace. However, ageism is still prevalent, affecting millions of individuals countrywide.
Common examples of age discrimination
Age discrimination can take many different forms, but some of the most common examples include:
- Job postings that specify an age range
- Failure to hire or promote older worker
- Negative comments or stereotypes about a worker’s age
- Unequal treatment
- Forced retirement
Age discrimination can lower workers’ morale, productivity and performance, not to mention the potential psychological effects of being looked down upon because of something outside one’s control.
What should you do to protect your legal rights?
If you are experiencing age discrimination in the workplace, it’s essential to take steps to address the issue. First, it helps to keep a detailed record of any instances of age discrimination that you experience or witness. This can help provide evidence when needed.
You can also raise the issue directly with the person discriminating against you or the HR department. Preferably, put such communication in writing for documentation purposes.
You may further escalate the matter to relevant agencies if the problem remains unresolved. For instance, you may file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or the Civil Right Department, the state agency that enforces anti-discrimination laws in California. You can even sue for damages.
Seek qualified legal guidance
As a victim of age discrimination, having proper legal representation can be crucial in understanding your rights and legal options. It will also help you build your case and navigate the legal processes of getting justice.