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Age Discrimination: 5 Signs To Know

November 15th, 2019 Victoria Breese

Age discrimination occurs when an employee or job candidate is treated less favorably on the basis of his or her age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) outlaws age discrimination in the workplace. The ADEA protects workers who are aged 40 or older. Age discrimination can still occur when the discriminator is also over the age of 40. With Baby Boomers getting older, this type of discrimination is becoming more common than ever. 1 out of 5 workers between the ages of 45 and 74 say they have been turned down for a job because of their age. Discrimination can be extremely subtle or glaringly obvious. Check out our 5 signs of age discrimination below to learn about some of the most common ways older people experience discrimination in the workplace. 

1. Layoffs

Of course, it’s legal for a company to lay off employees. However, if only older employees are laid off, you may have an age discrimination claim. Companies cannot legally discriminate against older employees by forcing them out in a layoff. 

2. Comments About Age

Disparaging comments about someone’s age can be a sign of age discrimination. These types of comments can range from playful to hostile. For example, a manager may joke about an older worker’s slow typing speed. A supervisor may question when an older employee plans to retire. Or, a boss may aggressively tell an older worker that someone younger would do a better job.  

3. Being Left Out of Company Activities

Feeling isolated from your coworkers and supervisors may be another sign of age discrimination, particularly if you felt included when you were younger. Ways you might be isolated at work include being left out of meetings, asked to work from home, or excluded from decision making. 

4. Being Asked Or Encouraged to Retire

Companies often offer attractive retirement packages to older employees in order to encourage them to retire. However, if you are not ready to retire, you do not have to accept these packages. Other companies try to enforce a mandatory retirement age. Generally, these mandates are illegal. There are a limited number of exceptions for jobs that require a significant amount of physical stamina, such as firefighting.

5. Hiring Younger Employees

If your company seems to only be hiring younger employees, you may have an age discrimination claim. Many companies specifically try to hire younger job candidates because they mistakenly believe that younger employees will perform better. However, the opposite is often true. Older workers usually come with more experience and wisdom. Companies that commit discrimination miss out on the unique advantages that older employees bring to the workplace. 


Seek Legal Assistance

If you have experienced age discrimination in the workplace, seek legal assistance today. The Working Solutions Law Firm, located in New York City, can assist you. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel. You don’t pay unless we win.