Age discrimination is illegal across the nation. In some cases, people can experience the negativity of age discrimination without realizing it or knowing what they can do about it. Some acts of discrimination happen subtly while some others occur blatantly. Here are some signs of age discrimination to look out for.
1. Frequently Mentioning Your Age
Does your superior bring your age up often? Are there jokes or offhand remarks about your age that come up a little too frequently? While an occasional joke with a willing participant can be normal, constant jokes or mention of your age is a form of harassment. It can plant doubts in your mind about your ability to do your job. In some cases, these remarks can lead to someone leaving a job.
1.5 Frequently Mentioning Age-Related Ailments
In addition to frequently mentioning age, you may also hear frequent references to other things people believe come with age. For example, if you often hear jokes about failing hearing and eyesight or about slow movement, you’re possibly hearing harassment. These types of remarks can also lead you to doubt yourself or generally make you feel uncomfortable in the workplace.
2. Perpetually Turning You Down
Did your employer turn you down for a promotion in favor of younger worker? Losing out on a promotion isn’t always a sign of discrimination. However, if the younger worker has less experience, less skill, or less work reliability compared to you, then age discrimination has possibly occurred.
If your employer has a pattern of turning you or others down for promotions in favor of younger workers, then you may have a stronger case of discrimination. This also applies to other work assignments. For example, are you routinely looked over for things like special projects, overtime, or other assignments you’re qualified for?
If opportunities go to younger employees most of the time, you can find yourself feeling like you offer nothing to the company. This and other forms of subtle discrimination can lead some to quit their jobs or feel completely demoralized.
2.5 Routinely Leaving You Out or Forcing You Into Seclusion
In some cases, an employer can go beyond exclusion into outright isolation. You can find yourself left alone, kept off teams, or not invited to meetings. Your employer can leave you out of the loop while they make plans and discuss things with the younger members.
3. Always Hiring Younger Employees
An employer that seems to favor youth over skill or experience is an employer showing a pattern of age discrimination. If you’re passed over as overqualified in favor of someone less experienced but younger, there’s a chance that blatant discrimination was involved.
If you’re already an employee, you can notice your employer increasingly hiring more younger employees. You may feel as if your employer actively tries to phase you or your position out.
4. Increasingly Creating Avenues for You to Leave
Often, an employer will use tactics designed to encourage someone to leave on their own. This can happen even if you do an excellent job and aren’t anywhere near retirement age or anywhere near ready to leave. Some tactics an employer may use includes:
- Offering a seemingly nice retirement package
- Eliminating your position or job title
- Laying you off for reasons that don’t make sense
- Bringing up the possibility of you leaving often
Many other subtle and not-so-subtle forms of harassment and discrimination on the basis of age exist. The possibility the employer isn’t doing these things on purpose also exists. You can speak to your HR service about your concerns, inform your superior about the illegal nature of their actions, or file an official complaint.
If you suspect age discrimination at work at any time or phase of employment, you should take immediate steps to do something about it. For a case evaluation, contact Shegerian & Associates right now.