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Signs of Age Discrimination at Your Job

Some employees in Connecticut and other states feel their workplace treats them differently because of their age. Age discrimination may surface in various ways and become a significant concern as workers grow older. The following signs can indicate that your workplace may engage in age-related discrimination.

Derogatory language

Listen to language used by leaders and colleagues within your company. Age discrimination may appear in subtle comments about younger workers bringing “fresh blood” into the workplace while older workers are referred to as “set in their ways.” According to employment law, other red flags of possible discrimination include calling certain employees young, energetic, or recent graduates to denote a younger employee with a favored status.

Using positive language for younger employees while ignoring older workers or negatively referring to them can create an uncomfortable, hostile environment. A one-off comment may not be an issue, but this type of language pattern can signal age discrimination and warrant some concern.

Differing opportunities

Age discrimination can include a difference in opportunities available to workers based on their age group. Companies that discriminate may offer training and desirable projects to younger employees while not giving older workers the same opportunities. Younger colleagues may receive preferential treatment concerning promotions. They may also receive no negative consequences for minor shortcomings and may still get promoted.

However, older employees with the same minor shortcomings might receive demotions or get passed over for promotions, even with a pristine work record. If you notice that older employees do not get promoted even if they pursue higher-level work or that a company exclusively offers buyouts to older workers, these may signify age discrimination.

Age-related performance assumptions

Remain alert for comments that suggest older workers may not understand technology enough to perform their jobs. Additionally, stay aware of language that assumes that older employees do not know how to work with social media or cannot handle the hours or stress of the job. These types of assumptions can indicate a discriminatory attitude toward older company employees.

Exclusion from important work and events

Observe the dynamics between company bosses and employees. If the company needs to reduce its workforce and lay off mainly older workers, it could raise suspicions regarding age discrimination. Companies may also attempt to transfer work responsibilities from older employees to younger workers by changing the job’s title and calling it a new position before laying off older workers.

Another sign of ageism can show up at company events outside of work. If bosses have social gatherings or events outside the office and invite younger employees while excluding older ones, this could signal age discrimination within the company’s culture.

Age should not be a barrier to equal opportunities and fair treatment at work. If you believe you have experienced work-related age discrimination, it is essential to take action to protect your rights.