Workers in New York and throughout the country who are 40 or older are likely protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, or ADEA. The legislation prohibits employers from making employment decisions involving protected workers that are based primarily on their age. Employment decisions may include hiring a prospective job candidate, promoting a worker to a management position or offering an employee a raise.
Despite the presence of ADEA, ageism still happens in the workplace. This is partially because it can be difficult to prove that a person didn’t get a job or was passed over for a promotion based on his or her age. In some cases, individuals who believe that they were victims of ageism don’t report what happened to them for fear of retribution. Those who witness potential acts of ageism may also be unlikely to speak out about what they saw.
In many cases, witnesses fail to speak out because they feel as if they will face retribution for doing so. Older workers are encouraged to learn about their rights and file a complaint if they believe that their employers have violated the law. These older workers are also encouraged to take steps to conceal their age when applying for jobs. In addition, workers who are covered by ADEA should stay on top of their physical and mental health while searching for work.
Individuals who believe that they have been victims of ageism or other types of workplace discrimination may want to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It may also be worthwhile to consult with an attorney who understands employment discrimination laws. If a workplace discrimination claim is successful, an individual might be entitled to compensation for lost wages or other forms of relief.