Age discrimination is real and as the baby boomer generation gets older, it’s only becoming more widespread. This kind of discrimination might be subtle and difficult to pinpoint in some cases. A job applicant could simply get passed up because he’s over 50 — but the hiring manager says it’s because he’s unqualified. It could also be overt and obvious when a manager asks an employee, “Aren’t you ever going to retire?”
However it happens, age discrimination is unlawful. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) outlaws discrimination based on age against anyone who is 40 years of age or older. This law prevents discrimination in all areas of employment including pay, termination of employment, hiring, promoting, laying off, benefits, training and other conditions relating to a protected worker’s employment. Any policies or practices instituted by an employer that applies to everyone — but specifically and negatively impacts someone who is 40 years of age or older — could also constitute as a form of age discrimination.
Age discrimination laws also protect employees from being harassed because of their age. Age-related harassment includes derogatory and offensive comments about someone’s age. It also includes teasing that is so severe, repeated and frequent that it establishes an offensive work environment for the victim.
Are you suffering from age discrimination at your place of employment, or did you lose your job because of your age? You don’t have to put up with this abuse. You can lodge a formal complaint with your employer and demand for the abuse, harassment or discrimination to stop. You may also be able to pursue financial claims in court if it’s required to defend your employment rights.