There are many ways you can face discrimination at work. Race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and your national origin are just a few of the many types of discrimination you can face. You can also face discrimination based on your age. This is a violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, one of the many employment laws that protect workers from unfair practices in the workplace.
In many cases, age-based discrimination is subtle. You might not even realize it is happening, especially if you have been with your company for many years and feel comfortable in your work environment. But if your performance reviews are coming back negative after years of positive remarks and you find yourself being left out of projects and passed over for promotions, you could be a victim of age discrimination. Age discrimination happens every day in the United States. In 2013, more than 21,000 reports of age discrimination were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Actions that are Age Discrimination
If you file an age discrimination claim, you need to prove that your claim is valid through documented instances of age discrimination in your workplace. Examples of such actions include:
- Supervisors asking about your retirement plans during performance reviews, interviews for promotion, and simply in general beyond idle small talk;
- Referring to you by names like “Grandma” or “Old Timer;”Showing favoritism toward younger employees to the extent of leaving you out of key meetings or projects;
- Only hiring applicants under a certain age;
- Disciplining you more harshly or differently than your younger colleagues; and
- Harassment. This can include disparaging remarks, rude behavior, or any other action done in an attempt to get you to quit the job.
Age discrimination can come from a supervisor who is older than you. If you experience any of these actions, document when and where they occur. Having a file showing your record of experiences is key to a successful age discrimination claim.
Actions that are Not Age Discrimination
Although certain requirements or expectations you find at work can seem like they were crafted to exclude older workers, they might not actually be types of age discrimination. For example, requiring employees to be familiar with certain technologies.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act also does not protect workers under the age of 40. Although some states do have more extensive age discrimination laws in place to protect younger workers, at the federal level, an individual under the age of 40 cannot file an age discrimination claim.
Work with an Experienced La Crosse Employment Lawyer
If you feel you have been a victim of age discrimination in your workplace, discuss your experiences with an employment lawyer to determine whether you have grounds to file an age discrimination claim with the EEOC. To begin this process, schedule your initial legal consultation with a member of our team at Moen Sheehan Meyer, Ltd. We are a team of experienced employment lawyers based in La Crosse, Wisconsin, who can help you seek the justice you deserve.