If you are over the age of 40 and work with people who are quite younger than you, this could cause a gap in how people perceive you as both an employee and an individual. This is typically what causes age discrimination in the workplace, no matter the field.
The Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons notes that over 30% of the current work population in the United States is age 50 and older. Despite this statistic, you may find yourself a target for age discrimination; however, there are a few signs you can watch for so you can ensure there is a definite problem before you proceed.
As an older American seeking employment, you may want to track your progress compared to younger applicants and how often they get hired, even if you have more experience in the field. This type of hiring practice is not legal, yet it happens quite often in companies of all sizes.
Bias and ageism speech
Age bias and ageism speech often go together, especially when it comes to promotions or winning certain projects that can get you noticed by your managers. There are several different types of bias, including:
- Offering fast-paced projects to younger workers
- Passing you over for promotion in favor of a younger employee
- An assumption you cannot perform a task because it involves technology
These actions may include ageism speech, such as “Jane is a dependable old workhorse” or “Joe is our group grandpa.” Making people aware of how they speak about you, especially if they continuously highlight your age, may help fight age discrimination.
Proving this type of discrimination can be difficult, and most courts do not allow for punitive damages. However, you can sue for twice the amount of lost pay.