Identifying age discrimination in the workplace

Identifying age discrimination in the workplace

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Discrimination

Age discrimination is a pervasive issue in today’s workplaces, affecting employees over 40. Even though employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on their age, it continues to occur.

It is very important for both employees and employers to identify potential age discrimination in the workplace.

What should employees watch out for?

If you are an older employee and you notice that younger employees are being treated more favorably than you, it could be a sign of age discrimination. This includes being denied promotions or training opportunities, receiving lower pay or benefits, and facing unfavorable work assignments. Age-related comments or jokes made by supervisors or coworkers can create a hostile work environment for older employees. These remarks may seem harmless on their own. However, when they become a pattern, they can indicate a deeper issue of age discrimination.

If your employer is downsizing and you are among the first to go despite having more experience, it could indicate discrimination. Furthermore, if you have complained about age discrimination or have participated in an investigation into such claims, your employer cannot retaliate against you. For example, they cannot terminate your employment.

How can employers prevent age discrimination?

Employers should make sure that all employment policies are applied consistently for all employees. This includes hiring, promotions, training, performance evaluations and disciplinary actions. They should provide regular training to managers and supervisors on the laws regarding age discrimination. This can help prevent unintentional discriminatory practices from occurring in the workplace. Employers should never use language in job postings that may discourage older applicants from applying for positions.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that during fiscal year 2022, workers filed 11,500 age discrimination charge receipts with their agency. This highlights the prevalence of age discrimination and the importance of preventing and addressing these violations.