As you get older, you will find that working is not as easy as it was when you were younger. You often face the difficulty of competing with others who are perhaps younger and better equipped to handle hard labor tasks. Because you are older, you may face jokes from younger employees regarding them "working circles around you."
Surveys show that age discrimination affects roughly 2 out of 3 people who are 45 years old and up. If you notice that you are suddenly being treated differently or unfairly at work, it may be a sign that you are a victim of age discrimination. There are laws in place that help protect individuals from acts of discrimination, including age discrimination. Identifying age discrimination allows you to seek the legal help you need to protect your right to work and receive fair treatment.
Signs You are a Victim
First, it is important that you identify the signs that may indicate you are a victim of age discrimination. Typically, signs of age discrimination include the following:
- Buyouts, getting laid off, or getting fired – If you noticed older individuals receiving buyout offers, getting laid off, or perhaps getting fired, it may indicate that your employer discriminates against workers based on their age. Stay aware and consider speaking to a lawyer if you receive a similar offer at work.
- Duty reassignment – Although it is not uncommon to receive duty reassignments, there are situations in which it may be a sign of age discrimination. If your employer reassigns you to difficult or unpleasant duties suddenly, it may be a sign that they are trying to convince you to quit because they are discriminating against your age.
- Unpleasant jokes – If your coworkers or even your boss start making unpleasant jokes about your age or they pester you about retirement, it could be a sign of discrimination. Keep in mind that sometimes people tend to have a humorous nature, so it could be all in good fun. However, you should clearly state that it bothers you or that you have no intention of retiring. If the jokes continue, it is likely that you are a victim of age discrimination.
- Raises and reviews – If you consistently received raises and great performance reviews prior to hitting middle age only to now face a lack of raises and sinking reviews, it might be a sign of age discrimination. Sometimes, it is easier for an employer to force an older worker out by denying a raise or making it seem like your work performance is less than stellar.
What You Can Do
If you feel that you are a victim of age discrimination, contact a lawyer immediately. An age discrimination attorney can assure that you receive fair treatment and the right to work without the threat of discrimination. If you are fired from your place of employment and you can prove that it was on the grounds of age discrimination, you may be entitled to a sum of money from your previous employer. Reach out to an age discrimination lawyer near you to learn more about your rights and legal course of actions you can take.