When hiring a person to fill a job, employers should look at factors such as experience, skill, and ability to work well with others. Is the person reliable? Does he or she have good references?
Unfortunately, some employers cannot look past a person’s age. Many companies try to portray a fresh, youthful environment, so they hire those fresh out of college. Younger people are often seen as more adaptable and accepting to change, while many older people are seen as stubborn and unwilling to learn new things.
These stereotypes are not always true. A person’s age should not dictate how well they work. Refusing to hire someone, failing to promote an employee or even terminating someone solely because of their age is considered age discrimination, which is illegal.
What is Age Discrimination?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines age discrimination as negative treatment of an employee because of their age. It prohibits age discrimination against those over the age of 40. It does not protect those under the age of 40. Age discrimination can still occur when the discriminator and the victim are both over 40.
Age discrimination can occur in the form of discrimination or harassment. An employer cannot discriminate against an older worker in terms of hiring, firing, promotions, pay, training and other employment conditions. Harassment takes the form of pervasive behavior that is frequent or severe and creates a hostile work environment that leads to demotion or firing. The harasser can be a supervisor, co-worker, or client.
Signs of Age Discrimination
Anyone can face age discrimination. In some cases, even younger workers are seen in a negative light because they are sometimes not as friendly, responsible, or competent as older employees. Some are also seen as demanding, expecting better pay, more time off, and better benefit packages.
Are you a victim of age discrimination in the workplace? Here are some signs:
- Job reassignment. If you have suddenly been given unpleasant duties, your employer may be trying to get you to quit.
- Comments about your age. If your manager suddenly starts asking you about retirement, then he or she may be hoping you will be leaving soon.
- You get no more raises. If you outperform your younger co-workers, but get smaller raises or no raise at all, then age discrimination may be to blame.
- Your once-stellar performance reviews are suddenly poor. Employees do not go from good to bad overnight. If you are suddenly getting bad reviews without a good explanation, then your employer may be looking for a reason to get rid of you.
Contact a New York Discrimination Lawyer
Unfortunately, older employees tend to face discrimination in the workplace, even though they often bring a wealth of experience and a positive attitude to a company. They should not be forced out of work simply because of their advanced age.
The employment discrimination attorneys at Ricotta & Marks, P.C. want to hear your story. We can file an EEOC claim against your employer, if necessary. Call our office at (347) 464-8694 for a free consultation.