Age Discrimination Examples: 8 Ways to Identify Unjust & Prejudicial Treatment
Age discrimination happens when an employer treats an employee or applicant less favorably due to their age. Federal law, specifically the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), prohibits discrimination in employment based on age for those over the age of 40.
In addition, some states protect younger workers from age discrimination. Here in Florida, state employment discrimination laws apply to employers with at least 15 employees and it also protects younger workers from age-related employment discrimination, layoff, or wrongful termination.
If you believe that you may be experiencing age discrimination at your job, consider these eight ways to identify unjust and prejudicial treatment in the workplace.
You see a pattern of hiring only younger employees. If you see an age-related hiring pattern at your company, you should contact an experienced ADEA employment law attorney at Florin Gray. Employers won’t come out and admit this, but they want to have a workforce of younger workers. They may believe that a younger team will be cheaper, work faster, be more technologically adept, and have fewer family commitments that make them more flexible in work assignments. If you hear the term “overqualified” from your boss when discussing a promotion or in a job interview, it may be a sign of age discrimination. It’s illegal for an employer to not hire an experienced, older person based on the sole belief that he or she might become dissatisfied with the position and leave.
You’re turned down for a promotion. Similar to the first item on the list, if you don’t get a promotion that ends up being awarded to a younger worker who’s less qualified, that may be a sign of age discrimination. Again, if you can prove a pattern of qualified, older workers being passed over for promotions that are given to younger workers without any evidence that the decisions are merit-based, you may have a case for age discrimination.
You are reassigned or are given unpleasant work duties. A job reassignment is a fairly obvious signal that your employer wants to replace you or force you to quit. Your boss may want to take away some of your responsibilities to “lighten your load.” This has the effect of frustrating and depressing the employee. It also gives the appearance to the rest of the workforce that you’re not as valuable as you once were and that you can no longer carry your own weight.
You’re asked, encouraged, or forced to retire. “Hey, Bob, when are you going to retire?” No beating around the bush there. Your boss is planning to put someone else in your spot… he/she just wants to know when. You can address this by telling your boss that you don’t have any plans to retire, you love the job, and hope to work there for some time. You can memorialize your conversation by sending your boss an email that summarizes the discussion about your “retirement” and remind your boss you aren’t planning on retiring any time soon.
Your position is eliminated. Frequently an employer will simply eliminate a position by changing the job title. Your boss tells you your job is being eliminated—but then turns around and hires a younger employee to work in the same capacity with the same responsibilities and expectations as you—only with a different title. This may be evidence of age discrimination.
You face unfair discipline or are placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP). You may be placed a Performance Improvement Plan or “PIP”—despite the fact that you’ve always had very good annual reviews or performance evaluations in the past. There’s never been any disciplinary issues and no history of poor performance. It may be an indication that your boss is attempting to get you out by justifying your termination with legal grounds of poor performance.
You’re no longer receiving raises. It’s more difficult to prove this, but if a younger coworker who has performed extremely well receives a raise, and you also had a great year but receive nothing, it may be age discrimination.
You hear age-related comments or insults. “Come on, Grandpa, let’s go to the meeting.” While an occasional remark about your age may sting a bit, it may not rise to the level of age discrimination. However, if it is frequent or sustained harassment, it may constitute a hostile work environment. Talk to an experienced ADEA employment law attorney at Florin Gray about your work situation.
What if I’m Offered an Early Retirement Package?
Your boss may offer you an early retirement package as an incentive to leave. It can be difficult to say “no” to a lucrative severance package.
If you’re offered a package and decline, your employer may terminate your employment all the same. If you’re offered a retirement package, consult with an experienced ADEA employment law attorney at Florin Gray to be certain it’s fair, and your rights are protected.
Contact an Experienced Florida Employment Law Attorney
Violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) can be very serious, and if you were wrongfully terminated or otherwise suffered illegal treatment at work, you may have a claim for damages. An experienced ADEA attorney may be able to help you obtain compensation for your treatment and injuries. Contact us at Florin Gray for help.
At Florin Gray, our legal team is dedicated to the pursuit of justice for the people we represent. Our law firm has more than 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients in employment law. We operate differently than many law firms and always put the best interests of our clients first. Contact us today.