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How does age discrimination happen at work?

On Behalf of | May 7, 2023 | Discrimination

You’re one of the longest-serving employees at your place of work. You love your job. But lately, you’re witnessing things at your place of work that are leaving you with more questions than answers. For example, your boss could be making comments regarding your age, and you are not happy about it. Could this situation be what you are thinking it might be?

The 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was created to protect employees from age discrimination in the workplace. Age discrimination occurs when an employee is treated less favorably than other employees or applicants based on their age. Age discrimination can happen to anyone. However, employees above the age of 39 are more vulnerable. It is these older workers who are protected by federal law. Age discrimination can happen at any stage in the employment cycle – during recruitment, while at work or when leaving your role.

What does age discrimination at work look like?

Age discrimination can be difficult to spot. That said, here are clear warning signs that you could be a victim of age discrimination at your place of work:

  • You are being bypassed for learning opportunities in favor of younger employees, such as continuing education, industry and professional workshop attendance and educational coursework key to your role
  • You are being by-passed for challenging assignments on the grounds that you are too old to execute them
  • Your boss and/or co-workers are making disparaging comments about your age. This challenging issue can begin as subtle and playful jokes about your typing speed, retirement plans or gasping for breath while walking up the stairs before taking a more aggressive turn such as a confrontation to leave your role for a younger and more energetic employee

Protecting your rights

If you believe that you are being discriminated against at work based on your age, you don’t have to sit back and take it. Seeking legal guidance to learn more about Indiana labor laws can help you safeguard your rights and interests if you are being discriminated against at work based on your age.