When you are fresh out of college, you are excited to see where your career will take you. You may be willing to put in long hours and do some grunt work to rise up to a higher-level position at your company. Maybe you have a goal of being a manager before you are 30.
However, you may soon realize that your company doesn’t seem to promote its young employees quickly. Maybe your company instead looks to hire managers and assistant managers from outside the company, people who are much older than you are. You may wonder if your employer is discriminating against you because of your age. Can you really face age discrimination for being too young?
Age discrimination at work
Federal law only protects against age discrimination for employees who are 40 or older. For those 40 or older, employers can’t discriminate against them in:
- Receiving promotions
- Being laid off or fired
- Receiving compensation for wages
- Receiving technology training
- Receiving other privileges of employment
Historically, more middle age and older workers have faced age discrimination at work. However, some employers have limited opportunities for millennials and younger workers, maybe believing they are entitled and won’t work as hard as other employees.
What to do about potential discrimination
You may need to seek out employment at another company if you feel your employer is discriminating against you because of your age. You may need to get an MBA to show how serious you are about rising through the ranks. You may need to consider if you are facing discrimination for another reason, maybe because of your race, gender, sexual orientation or religion. You may need to seek the help of an attorney if you are under 40 and face workplace discrimination for another federally protected factor.
You shouldn’t let an employer limit your prospects because of your age or other factors. You need to stand up for yourself and your rights in situations where workplace discrimination is violating federal laws.