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Your age shouldn't matter: Fight against discrimination

Age discrimination is a frustrating type of discrimination to deal with, because it is counterintuitive and hard to prove. As you get older, you'd think that people would respect your knowledge and time in an industry. Sometimes, though, the opposite seems to be true.

Age discrimination is unjust. It involves unfairly treating an applicant or employee due to their age. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Age Discrimination in Employment Act does not allow for age discrimination, but it only bans discrimination against those ages 40 or older. If you are younger and dealing with discrimination, then you may need to have your attorney look into state laws to see if there are protections in place for you in the workplace.

Can an employer favor an older worker legally?

It is not illegal for employers to favor older workers, interestingly, so long as they are not discriminating against an employee due to age. For example, if you and another worker are both in your 40s and your senior is given a promotion, there is no discrimination taking place due to age.

Can you be harassed due to your age?

If you are 40 or older, it is illegal for your employer to harass you due to your age. Harassment includes making derogatory or offensive statements about your age. While the law doesn't ban people from making jokes or teasing you based on your age, if it continuously happens when you've asked others to stop or the actions are creating a hostile work environment, then you can pursue a claim.

When it comes down to it, your age should not play a role in your ability to obtain a job or to keep a job. It shouldn't matter how old you get, so long as you can continue to do your job right and complete it as intended.

What should you do if you are being harassed due to your age?

If you are being harassed, it's important for you to speak up and make your complaints known. Tell the people or person who is harassing you to stop. If they fail to do so, go to the human resources department or a superior. If any of these actions fail, you can also reach out to your attorney for help figuring out what your next step should be, so that you can protect your rights and avoid unfair treatment due to your age.

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