Despite the sweeping attempts at workplace reform and strict focus on anti-harassment and anti-discrimination, both still exist. Many workers face discriminatory or harassing behaviors every day, and it makes workplace attendance difficult.
Age discrimination is one of many forms, but it often gets less attention than things like discrimination based on race or sexuality. It can still do just as much damage to an individual and a workplace, though.
Protection under ADEA
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission takes a look at age discrimination at work. Age discrimination occurs when employees or employers target a worker unfairly due to their age. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects workers aged 40 and up from this type of discrimination. However, states also have their own individual laws that sometimes cover younger workers, too.
Under ADEA, it is unlawful to discriminate against age in any area of employment. This includes firing, hiring, pay, promotions, layoffs, benefits, training, job assignments and more. You cannot get an unsavory position due to your age alone. You also cannot get laid off or fired simply because you are “too old”.
Unlawful denial of progress in work
Likewise, an employer cannot pass you over for promotions or benefits, nor can they refuse to give you desirable job assignments, simply because of your age. Anti-discrimination for age goes for both your physical and mental capabilities, as well as your looks.
Many employers cite the fear that older employees “cannot do as much” as younger employees when asked why they discriminate against them. Some do not even realize that their actions are discriminatory due to how commonplace it is.
If you find yourself facing such issues at your work, consider contacting legal help to learn more about your options.