Your years of hard work and dedication to your job may not matter much when age discrimination rears its ugly head at your workplace. It’s a harsh reality many individuals face as they advance in years, despite their wealth of experience and knowledge.
To illustrate the prevalence of age discrimination, consider these real statistics:
- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed over 11,000 age discrimination charges in 2022 alone.
- A recent AARP survey reports that two out of three workers aged between 45 and 74 have witnessed or experienced age discrimination in the workplace.
As an affected worker, it’s important to understand and assert your legal rights in the face of ageism.
Identify the subtle signs of age discrimination
Age discrimination can manifest in various subtle ways, making it important to be vigilant. Some of the tell-tale signs include:
- Exclusion from opportunities
- Inappropriate remarks
- Unjust criticism
- Unequal discipline
- Sudden layoffs
- Unequal pay
Recognizing the signs of age discrimination is a significant step, but it’s only the beginning of your journey to protect your rights and interests. While the road to overcoming age bias is not without its hurdles, these actionable steps below can help.
Know your rights
Various federal and state laws protect you from age discrimination. For instance, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits age-based bias against employees and job applicants who are 40 years of age or older. Familiarizing yourself with the legal framework is an excellent starting point.
If you believe you’ve experienced age discrimination, maintain a detailed record of incidents, including dates, times, locations, individuals involved and any witnesses. This documentation can be invaluable evidence if the matter escalates.
Explore your legal options
To sue or settle? What damages are you entitled to as a victim of ageism? These are just a few of the myriad of questions you may have, and it’s in your best interests to seek qualified legal guidance.