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3 examples of age discrimination in a work environment

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2019 | Firm News

You’re getting older, but that doesn’t mean you’re any less beneficial to a company. You have been in the industry for many years, and you have insight that others may not. You worry that your age plays a role in many of the decisions that take place around you, especially since you have been passed up for promotions and talked down to by younger members of the staff.

As someone who is aging, it’s important for you to know that you are protected against age discrimination if you are 40 years of age or older. That’s a federal law.

To help you better understand age discrimination, here are three examples of discrimination in action. If you struggle in situations like these, you may want to reach out to your human resources department, supervisor or an attorney for more help.

1. Age and the promotion

Tim was working at his company for the last five years when an opportunity to move into a higher position arose. At 60, he knew that the company might overlook him due to age, but he had hopes that it wouldn’t. Perhaps unsurprisingly, a new recruit, on the job for only a month at that point, was promoted over him. The most frustrating thing was that the recruit had no previous experience. With only these two going for the promotion, Tim was sure that it was a result of age. In an off-handed comment, his boss said, “You wouldn’t want it anyway, you’re retiring in a few years.” This only further solidified what he suspected.

2. Age and termination

At 70 years old, Jen had been at her job for decades. Lately, she noticed that people were bringing up her age more often and asking when she would retire. She was feeling pushed out, which was made final when her boss decided to terminate her role with the company. He didn’t give a reason, but he did suggest she relax, because she should be retired anyway.

3. Age and retirement benefits

At 66, John can retire from work and get an exceptional pension package for being on the job for so many years. All he had to do was make it one more year, because he was already 65. You can imagine his surprise when he received a pink slip just a few weeks later, stating that his role was terminated. Now, he wouldn’t receive the company package in full, saving the company money and hurting his retirement goals.

Any decisions made that impact an employee negatively should be looked into, especially if age could be involved. In these cases, age may have been a driving force in the situations that resulted in workers losing their jobs, losing out on benefits or missing promotions.