The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits employers from singling out workers over age 40 for negative reviews or treatment. As described by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, discrimination may include making decisions concerning promotions or terminations based on age.
As reported by the AARP, age discrimination may also occur within recruitment ads if employers use comments designed to attract younger candidates. Words that encourage “energetic” or “recent graduates” to apply, for example, may qualify as bias toward younger individuals.
Neglecting employees over the age of 40
Older and more experienced employees may find themselves passed up for opportunities that involve learning new skills. Assumptions that a senior individual cannot use social media or the internet may classify as discrimination. Evidence of an employer making choices based on age may include offering only younger workers certain types of technical training that could lead to promotions.
Changing an employee’s responsibilities
Kiplinger’s Personal Finance notes that sudden changes in an older worker’s job title or performance reviews may signal age discrimination. Demoting employees or moving them into isolated positions may cause older individuals to feel humiliated. Failing to include a previously invited worker to work-related meetings, lunches or social events may also classify as discrimination.
Gathering proof for a legal action
An older employee experiencing abrupt changes in the workplace may have grounds to file a legal action. A reduction in hours or pay may, however, require a preliminary meeting made in good faith with a company’s human resources department.
A range of workplace issues may serve as evidence of discrimination based on age. When an employer fails to address or correct an age-related issue, a lawsuit may provide the required relief.