You’ve been in your current role for years. Perhaps, it is the only job you’ve ever had. And so, for years you’ve worked diligently and earned everyone’s respect.
Well, until remarks regarding your age came up. Could you be a victim of age discrimination at work? Whereas it is illegal, age discrimination is quite common in most workplaces. In fact, 2 out of 3 employees over 45 report experiencing some form of age discrimination at work.
And while it can affect both younger and older employees, this type of discrimination is a big deal for employees over 40. But what is age discrimination and how does it happen at work?
Understanding age discrimination in the workplace
Age discrimination, or ageism as it is commonly known, happens when an employee or potential employee is stereotyped or treated unfairly based on their age. Ageism can manifest in a number of ways. Here are three telltale signs you could be a victim of age discrimination at work:
- Incidents of age-related insults or comments – if your employer, supervisor or fellow employee is consistently making degrading comments about your age, then you could be a victim of ageism.
- Being sidelined for promotions and/or certain work assignments – is your employer sidelining you for promotions or important job assignments in favor of younger and “more presentable or energetic” colleagues? If these actions are consistent and deliberate, then you need to ask questions. Your employer could be discriminating against you based on your age.
- Routine isolations – if your employer has taken to excluding you from meetings, important decisions relating to your job or training programs then you need to find out what they are up to. They are probably using your age to frustrate you into an early exit from the organization.
Every employee deserves to be treated with respect irrespective of their age, race or other protected characteristics. Knowing your legal options can help you safeguard your rights if you are a victim of age discrimination at work.