Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere
– Martin Luther King, Jr.

It’s time to call.

Have you been subjected to these four signs of age discrimination?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | Discrimination

You have a lot of protections as a worker. However, it’s up to you to ensure that your rights are protected. This means that you have to know the law and how it applies to you and your employer if you want to shield yourself from workplace discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

Age discrimination is one form of workplace behavior that’s often minimized or overlooked. Yet, it can have a profound impact on your career and your life. If you leave age discrimination unchecked, you could end up facing demotion, reassignment, or even termination. With so much at stake, this is unacceptable behavior that you need to prevent if possible. And if it’s already happened to you, then you need to be prepared to take legal action.

But, if you’re like a lot of older workers, then you struggle to tell if you’ve even been discriminated against. We hope this post will help you better understand some of the signs of age discrimination in the workplace.

Common signs of age discrimination

Age discrimination isn’t always readily apparent. However, there are some clear indicators that discrimination is afoot. This includes:

  • Harassing word choice: A lot of age discrimination starts with disparaging comments about you and your age. They might seem like harmless jokes at first, but you may quickly learn that the words directed toward you are also used as justification to keep you out of higher position or more favorable assignments. These hurtful words might also be used to try to get you to quit your job, which would protect the employer from claims of wrongful employment action.
  • Inconsistent hiring and promoting practices: Your employer should hire and promote people based on their training, education, experience, talent, skills, and work performance. They shouldn’t base their decisions on age. Yet, all too often employers make key employment decisions in a way that favors younger workers. If you’re seeing this happen at work and you’ve been passed up for younger workers when it comes to opportunities for advancement, then discrimination may have occurred.
  • Isolation: Are you being left out of key meetings or aren’t being given crucial work information while younger workers are being brought into the inner circle? If so, then your contributions to the company are being minimized and your voice is being silenced. This, in turn, gives you little to no opportunity to demonstrate your value to the company, which puts you in a difficult position when it comes to promotion assignment, and even termination. This could be discriminatory in nature.
  • Bad performance appraisals: Your performance appraisals are used to give you constructive feedback while also laying the foundation for the trajectory of your career. If you feel like you were harshly and unjustly criticized in your performance appraisal, you should consider whether it’s on account of your age. Carefully analyze the language that’s used to determine if it unfairly focuses on your age and be sure to write down how your employer responds when you question them about it.

Take legal action when you’ve suffered age discrimination

Age discrimination is easy to write off. But if you do, then you’re putting yourself at risk of negative employment outcomes. You can’t let that happen to you, which is why you need to carefully analyze the facts of your situation and consider what you can do to protect your interests. This might include taking legal action, so be prepared to gather evidence, defend your work performance, and advocate for an outcome that’s fair and just.