It can be rather distressing for an employee when the employer starts profiling employees based on their age rather than their qualifications or skills when hiring, firing, and giving promotions. Such discrimination can prevent you from landing a job or achieving your full potential in your career. If you are a victim, here is what you need to know.
The law protects you from age discrimination through the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) enacted in 1967. It means that your employer is not supposed to discriminate against you based on your age. Doing so would be breaking the law and violating your rights.
Signs of age discrimination
Your employer will likely not be too conspicuous with their actions regarding age discrimination. They know that they are likely to face backlash from law enforcement or even fellow employees.
The common signs you should be on the lookout for include:
- Unequal job benefits
- Being given unrealistic expectations or targets
- Unjustified forced retirement
- Not being offered the same opportunities as younger employees
- Getting disparaging remarks about your age, among others
What can you do about it?
It is best to make a formal complaint to your employer through the proper channels in your organization. Do so in writing and provide a detailed explanation of your situation.
If the situation persists, you may need to escalate issues to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). This is the regulatory body that deals with discrimination issues at the workplace. You can file a discrimination charge against your employer with the EEOC, which will investigate your claim and take action.
What will happen next?
The EEOC may order your employer to stop conduct that amounts to discrimination and compensate you for any lost wages or benefits arising from the discrimination. If you had been dismissed, you might get your job back, depending on the directives issued by the commission.
As an employee, being aware of your rights will help you handle such situations and stand up to a rogue employer.