Any time you are faced with discrimination and work, it can be hurtful and stressful. When you first face age discrimination on the job, it can come as a shock. You may be thinking you are at your most productive and valuable, however, you are being met with comments or diminishing duties that can leave you perplexed.
Whether it is a stereotype or and ingrained thought process that most people have, often when new technology or processes are introduced into the workplace, many managers believe it is best handled by someone younger. Experience and knowledge of previous work can often be overlooked in cases such as this which can cause frustration. Other times, age discrimination can come down to money. New workers tend to cost less.
If you are a worker in your 40s you may already have seen an instance or two where your age has played a part in the work that you do. As a worker, you are protected by The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) against age discrimination while doing your job. While it may not always be easy to spot age discrimination, there are early signs you may be able to notice.
Signs of workplace discrimination
Youth movement – If you notice that your company has been hiring younger worker or new grads just out of college, those workers may be soon taking your place. If you hear that other workers have been asked to take early retirement, you could be next.
Culture of youth – If you are noticing that communication from the company is stressing new ideas, new employees and an overall freshening up of the company, they may be looking to be discarding older workers.
Joking about age – If you commonly hear jokes about gray hair, being tired or working slow, you can be assured others are thinking about your age a lot more than you are and may not believe these are jokes.
Talking to you different – If your boss is taking more time to explain something to you or is speaking louder to you than anyone else, they are likely doing this because of your age.
Passed over for work – If assignments or other important tasks that you used to routinely take on are now being given to younger employees, you may be losing the confidence of your managers due to your age.
Bad reviews – It can be a red flag if you went into your last review believing you were only going to hear great things but was surprised by receiving poor performance comments.
Hidden away – Are younger employees replacing you when it comes time to meet and create relationships with new clients?
Promotions go away – When a company does not want to keep paying you, their next turn may be to replace you with someone not requiring as much salary.
If any of the above signs look familiar to you, then you may be able to consider yourself a victim of age discrimination. You should speak with a workplace discrimination attorney right away to discuss the details of what you have gone through and what can be done to prove the behaviors you experienced.