As you get older, you learn more about your job. You advance in your career, earn more and continue learning to make sure you're keeping up with all the new changes in the workforce. Over time, you find a great position, and you believe that you should continue to advance.
However, age discrimination can get in the way if you're not careful about recognizing it. People who are age 40 or older are protected against age discrimination by law. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that it is unlawful to harass or discriminate against a person due to their age.
What is age discrimination?
Age discrimination includes treating an applicant or employee in a less-favorable manner simply because of their age. Workers under the age of 40 are not protected by federal law, but if you are under 40, it's a good idea to reach out to your attorney to find out if your local area or state has a protection in place for people in your position. Even if you don't have an age-discrimination case, you may have a case against harassment or discrimination in general.
Employers know that it is unlawful to be offensive, harassing, derogatory or hostile toward a worker because of their age. The law doesn't prevent employees, coworkers, clients or others from teasing older workers, but harassment is illegal when it happens so often or so severely that it significantly impacts the victim's life or affects employment decisions.
The law directly prohibits discrimination that affects employment in terms of:
- Job assignments
- Conditions of employment
Whom can a victim make a complaint about?
Victims have a right to make a complaint about several parties including:
- Their supervisors
- Supervisors in other areas of work
Any of these parties have the potential to be harassing or discriminatory and can be held liable by law.
No matter how old you are, you deserve respect when you're on the job. If you believe that you've been passed over for a promotion because of your age or are not being allowed to train for a position due to age, you may have a case against your employer. You can bring all evidence and documents pertaining to your claim to your attorney's office upon your first visit, so you can discuss what you've been through and if it's enough to constitute age discrimination.