Most employers strive to create a safe and productive workplace environment. The addition of laws like ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act) help to facilitate these protections, too. But unfortunately, people will continue to harass and abuse at work if they think they can get away with it.
The first thing you can do to protect yourself is to understand what age discrimination looks like. What is it, how does it surface in the modern workplace, and how does ADEA protect you?
Examples of age discrimination
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission takes a look at age discrimination at work. Age discrimination comes in different forms. For example, it may involve slander, verbal harassment or other forms of bullying specifically centered around someone’s age.
It can also involve the open shunning or denial of promotions, raises and other benefits specifically because of one’s age. Many perpetrators in these cases claim that they do not think the victim in question is “capable”, specifically because they are “old”, despite proof to the contrary.
Who does ADEA protect?
ADEA protects those who are over 40 years old, but many local laws also cover younger employees, too. ADEA applies even if the harasser and victim are both over 40 years of age, too. Note that there is an exception, however. It is not illegal for employers to favor an older worker, even if the younger worker is also over 40.
Note that in order for something to get classified as harassment, it must disrupt your ability to work. It must create a toxic or hostile environment that directly or indirectly impacts your ability to get your job done or function in the workspace. If this is you, consider contacting legal help to learn about your options.