Age Discrimination in the Workplace: What Does It Look Like? | Blog | Aiman-Smith & Marcy
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Age Discrimination in the Workplace:
What Does It Look Like?

When people think about discrimination, they often think about people not being treated fairly due to their sexual orientation, race, sex, and even their marital status. However, age discrimination is also a big problem in the workplace. This often happens when people are treated differently once they hit a certain age (over forty). 

So, what does age discrimination actually look like?

Hiring someone younger, even if you have the experience that they need. Some companies are quicker to hire younger employees because of the hope that they will stay with the company longer. Hiring someone who is going to retire in the near future isn’t always a smart move, though employers could get in trouble if they don’t at least consider hiring someone who is older. 

Promoting someone younger, even when they don’t have the experience to do the job. In-house promotion is very common, especially in large businesses. However, it is important that they don’t pass over someone just because they are a little older. 

Trying to decrease their workload by passing on them for challenging work projects.  Some employers may hand certain projects to younger employees and Instead of being helpful, this can be demeaning for older employees who feel less valuable. 

Fewer benefits. All employees deserve the same benefits, no matter what. Each company should have a clear plan on the number of sick and vacation days that their employees get. Everyone should have the same health benefits. If they offer other benefits, such as passes to a health club, everyone deserves to get them. 

Unhealthy harassment in the workplace. Though teasing is bound to happen in the workplace, there isn’t much that can be done about it. However, when it turns to regular harassment, it creates an unhealthy workplace and that is illegal. Bullying someone due to their age to the point where it leads to a hostile work environment needs to be dealt with (and quickly). Nobody should have to work in an environment that is detrimental to their health and wellness. 

Firing someone due to their age. Employers can’t fire someone specifically just because of their age, especially if they are nearing retirement age. A lawyer may fight that they were fired as a way to avoid paying for their retirement. 

The same goes for layoffs. Employers can’t simply lay off older employees for being older. 

Age discrimination is a problem in our society. Many times younger employees are given an advantage over their counterparts that are older. Older workers shouldn’t be passed over for a job or promotion because of their age. They also don’t deserve to be passed over when it comes to challenging projects. Employers simply can not fire or lay off employees because of their perceived abilities or capabilities. Also, harassment of an older employee because of their age is illegal in the workplace, especially if it creates a hostile work environment that is unhealthy. 

If you believe that you are being harassed and discriminated against due to your age, you should contact us today.