Workers have protection from discrimination based on certain protected characteristics. Racial discrimination and sex discrimination receive a lot of media attention, and rightly so. However, these more dramatic forms of discrimination often overshadow other, equally problematic forms of workplace biases.
Workers over a certain age may have a harder time finding new jobs or receiving the same treatment that younger workers receive. Age discrimination can affect any worker over the age of 40 but becomes particularly serious for those in their 50s and 60s. Even though such employees are often very engaged in their jobs, employers may look for excuses to get rid of them or refuse to offer them advancement opportunities.
You can fight back when ageism affects your career
When your employer repeatedly passes you over for challenging projects or promotions, their decisions may come from bias against older workers. Especially when you see a systemic pattern of workers in your age group losing out on opportunities, being more likely to lose their jobs or failing to get promotions, there could be an issue with the culture at your work.
Workers who want to challenge ageism usually need documentation showing a pattern of discrimination. From tacky jokes about your ability to use technology to team socialization that excludes everyone over a certain age, there may be company practices that create a work environment hostile to older employees. When you document those workplace microaggressions or systemic issues, you will be in a better position to hold your employer accountable.
Pursuing an age discrimination claim may not only benefit you but other workers in the golden years of their careers.