Recognizing age discrimination in the workplace

| Jun 1, 2021 | Discrimination At Work

While it may be a purely innocent question, repeatedly asking about your plans for retirement could be a sign that your employer wants you to move on. Despite the protections of state and federal law, ageism is pervasive in the American workplace.  

While employers like to hire people with experience, too much experience can work against you because it identifies you as an older worker. When your phone interview goes extremely well, but after meeting you in person, the hiring manager suddenly loses interest, you may be experiencing age discrimination.  

Age stereotypes

Some assume older workers are not as computer literate as their younger co-workers and less able to master new software or devices. Others believe that older workers drive up health insurance premiums. These age stereotypes can lead to discrimination. In truth, older employees likely have much more experience with learning new technology, and health problems can occur at any age.  

Differences in treatment

If your employer excludes you from continuing education seminars that the younger staff attended, it might be because he would rather not spend the money on someone who might retire soon. He may give the promotion to a younger employee despite your superior qualifications. These are examples of age discrimination. 

Hiring practices

When you become aware of age discrimination, it may surprise you how often you will see it. Even the language in job postings can send the message that older workers need not apply.  

Ageism can have serious financial consequences for older workers. It may be difficult for you to get another job, and you could face retirement before you are ready. Age discrimination is illegal, and you have the right to protection.