As a worker in the United States, you have certain protections from discrimination. Though we all hope to never have to rely on such protections, the fact of the matter is that discrimination of all kinds still happens across the country.
One of the issues that gets less discussion than others is age discrimination. This problem affects many workers across the country. But what does it look like and how does it affect you?
The Age Discrimination Employment Act
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission takes a look at age discrimination in the workplace. Age discrimination impacts older adults at work who often face harassment, abuse, threats and gossip due to their age alone. The Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA) protects workers aged 40 and up. However, there are other local laws that protect younger workers, depending on where you live.
Forms of discrimination
Typical examples of age discrimination include:
- Refusing to promote someone because they are “too old”
- Demoting someone based on age alone
- Disruptive workplace rumors revolving around age
- Treating an older worker like they are senile or incompetent
Unfortunately, certain types of age discrimination happen often. For example, an older worker may end up switched out of their front desk position because an employer wants a younger-looking person greeting customers. An older worker may also get passed over for promotion because the boss is afraid they will not work as well or as hard as their younger counterparts.
This makes it hard for older workers to find, keep and enjoy jobs. If you have faced such treatment, consider contacting legal help to see what you can do next.