Age discrimination is a real problem in America’s workforce. You may spend all your time working for a company for decades, but when you reach a certain age, there is a possibility that someone may believe your age hinders your ability to do your job.
Age discrimination comes in a few different forms. Some people discriminate by hiring only younger people who “look more attractive” than other potential hires. Some employers may let go of older employees to save money, since they can pay a younger person less.
Age discrimination is against the law. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act specifically bans the discrimination of people aged 40 or older. Those under the age of 40 are not specifically protected, but individual states sometimes have laws to help people in this age range.
Age discrimination can be found in different situations. For example, if you are fired because you just turned 40, that’s discriminatory. If you are not hired because you are in your 50s and for no other reason, that’s discriminatory.
It is also unlawful to harass someone due to his or her age. For instance, it is not necessarily illegal to call someone gramps once on the job, but if it is persistent and used as a slur, it could be construed as age discrimination in court.
Know that age discrimination is not legal in the United States and that you do have legal options you can pursue. You may be able to seek help through your employer’s human resources department. If that doesn’t work, the court system in your area may hear the case if you decide to take your employer to court.
Your age has very little to do with your ability to perform a job. Stand up for your rights, and keep the work you need.