As the age discrimination law turns 52, incidents persist

It was in 1967 that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act was passed to protect workers over the age of 40 from facing discrimination and loss of their job due to age. Unfortunately, over 50 years later it seems the law is not doing much to deter companies from continuing age discrimination.

A recent analysis of older workers has shown that over half of American workers will get pushed out of long held jobs prior to retirement. Being forced out of work before you want to can cause extreme financial damage and the possibility of running into additional discrimination when trying to find new employment.

Employers are certainly aware of the age discrimination law, but if they have a discriminatory view of age in their workplace, they will try certain means to remove the employee without it seemingly looking like it is because of age. This does not make what they are doing legal, it just makes it not as blatant. Besides asking you to take early retirement, here are some other ways you can see that your company may be discriminating against older workers.

Hiring a younger workforce – Are all the new workers coming in much younger than you anticipated and doing work that is very similar to yours?

Duties have been scaled back – If tasks you used to routinely do are now given to someone younger, your value to the company may be in question. You may even be asked to teach a younger employee parts of your job. You may also not notice you are no longer being introduced to new clients, instead it is a new younger employee who is shown as the face of the company.

Jokes – If you recently started hearing jokes about gray hair or needing a cane or wheelchair to get around, these jokes may be masking the real sentiment, that your age may be a detriment to you.

Bad reviews – If you feel your work has not slipped and you are working better than ever but then are shocked to get a bad work review, it could be because your age. If an employer has decided they do not want you working for them, they can use a bad review to justify a layoff or a firing.

If you feel you have been the victim of age discrimination, you should contact an attorney right away to discuss what is you have encountered. You can help your case by documenting as much as you can about what you have seen, heard and witnessed.

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