Discrimination in any form will usually cause both shock and frustration to the victim. When something you cannot control is deemed to be the reason you lose out on a promotion or even to be fired, it can be demoralizing.
The good news is that age discrimination is illegal, no matter if you are being interviewed for a job or have been with the company for many years. The unfortunate part is that proving age discrimination is not easy. However, there are signs you can monitor and track which can be documented and used as evidence if you feel you are a victim of age discrimination.
Signs of workplace age discrimination
Joking about your age – If you have co-workers, supervisors or managers joking about your gray hair or needing to take a nap, it means they are thinking about your age. If it is on their mind, it may mean they may find your age a liability.
Opportunities for younger employees only – If you see that training's or other development opportunities are being offered to younger employees but you are being left out, it may be because of your age and not your extreme level of experience. You should also watch out for being left out of business meetings or being replaced by younger employees when being introduced to new clients.
The company caters to younger employees – Are holiday parties and employee activities centering on paintball or going to an arcade? Does the employee handbook talk in length about other types of workplace discrimination but not age discrimination? Does the company website show photos of young employees with branding that makes it look like twenty-somethings with new ideas are running the show?
Employees retiring early – If you notice other workers retiring early, do not be surprised if you get asked next. If you refuse, this may be the time you could see even more acts of discrimination against you.
Age discrimination can be subtle and hard to detect at first. You may need to string together several instances of acts that show your employer has lost confidence in you due to your age. If you feel that you lost your job or other opportunities because of your age, you should contact an employment law attorney who can work with you to build a case based on your claim.