Some misconceptions exist that younger folk are faster and more adaptive to the changing work environment than the older generation. Therefore, discrimination based on age is a common occurrence across many industries. It is rampant – yet largely under-reported – because most victims are unaware of its occurrence.
It can be disheartening when an employer overlooks your capabilities because of your age. Your career growth could be stifled, and you could miss out on many opportunities simply because of your age.
How does age discrimination happen?
Ageism can occur at the hiring stage, where age is used to filter out potential candidates or even among employed persons, in promotions and disciplinary actions.
Your employer does not have to be so obvious about it. For instance, they could set unrealistic targets for you so that they can have a basis for their adverse actions. They could also prevent you from certain training programs in favor of younger colleagues or pay you fewer wages because you are older.
As a victim, you need to take steps and protect your rights.
What can you do about it?
If you are 40 years of age and older, the law protects you from any form of discrimination at your workplace. If you believe your employer is in violation of anti-discrimination laws, you can seek redress from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by filing a discrimination charge.
You may be awarded damages for your troubles, and your employer could have to bear the cost of the suit if they are found guilty.
You need to have proof of your claims
Since your employer will likely counter your allegations, you must have some evidence to show that they were discriminatory. Testimony from colleagues or other important documentation will go a long way in helping your case conclude favorably.
Do not let age come in the way of your career objectives by learning more about your rights and what to do in such a case.