The employment space can be uncomfortable in some instances. Your employer can create a hostile work environment by their words and actions. The California Labor Commissioner’s Office educates workers on their rights to help them identify when they are mistreated.
Your employer can treat you unfairly based on a group you belong to, including age. A significant percentage of employees above 40 years of age have reported being discriminated against at work, and one of the ways this happens is by being “encouraged” to retire.
It can be discriminatory for your employer to ask you to retire. An employer may do this to hire only younger employees — but older employees often don’t realize this since the discrimination can be subtle or stealthy. Thus, you should pay attention to how your employer approaches this subject.
What if it’s a voluntary retirement scheme?
Voluntary retirement is allowed under the Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA). Employers are also not prohibited from giving employees incentives to retire earlier. This scheme does not force one out of the company but gives them the freedom to simply retire early. As the name suggests, it’s voluntary – the employer presents the incentives, and the employee considers them before deciding, and they can choose not to retire early.
What if you feel forced into retirement?
If you suspect your employer is trying to force retirement on you that could lead to what’s known as a constructive discharge. That can happen when your duties are gradually reduced and you feel slowly cut off from your career goals.
If you don’t want to retire earlier, your employer should not force you. If this is your experience, consider your options to protect your rights.