Age discrimination is not discussed as often as other types of discrimination, but it is no less damaging for people and their careers. When employers choose to discriminate against their older employees, they can cause substantial harm to them and their career prospects. Here are five signs of age discrimination you may want to watch out for if you are 40 or older:
- Your employer is replacing older employees with younger ones
- One potential sign of age discrimination at your company is that they have a habit of firing or buying out older employees, while replacing them with much younger people. Employers often prefer younger workers because they will often work for less money and fewer benefits than their more experienced counterparts. However, as Steven Sack notes in his recent book, Fired!, “Federal and state discrimination laws are designed to promote employment of older persons based on their abilities, irrespective of age.” Thus, if you see this behavior in your workplace, it could be a sign of potential discrimination.
- You get reassigned to less desirable positions or duties
- Another potential sign of age discrimination is that you get reassigned to other positions, or get given duties that others consider to be undesirable. These sorts of reassignments or changes in job duties can be a sign that the company is trying to pressure you into quitting. After all, the worse of a time you have while working, the more likely you are to leave, opening up your position to a younger replacement.
- Raises either slow down or stop entirely
- You should also keep track of when you get raises, which may indicate potential age discrimination. If it has been a while since the last time you received a raise, it could be a sign that your employer is not interested in keeping you around. It could even be a sign that they are trying to passively pressure you out, by keeping your pay stagnant.
- You are denied opportunities for promotion or advancement
- Age discrimination can also take the form of limited opportunities for promotion or advancement. This could take the form of younger, less experienced employees being given promotions that they are more qualified for, or it could be the result of them not being invited to training or conferences that are necessary for professional advancement. If your experience does not earn you a better position, it may be a sign your company is trying to pressure you out.
- Your performance reviews become worse without explanation
- Generally speaking, if your performance reviews at your job has been good for the entire time you have worked there, and nothing has changed, you should continue to get good reviews. However, some older employees may find they suddenly start getting worse performance reviews without explanation. This tactic is a common way employers cover up their discriminatory practices, using worsening performance reviews as a justification for pay cuts, demotions, or dismissals, among other things.
Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer with more than 41 years’ experience handling the many aspects of employment law. His new book, “Fired!: Protect Your Rights & FIGHT BACK If You’re Terminated, Laid Off, Downsized, Restructured, Forced to Resign or Quit,” is available in hardback, and contains valuable advice on dealing with employment and labor law issues. To purchase the book, feel free to contact Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or visit the website at legalstratpub.com. To inquire about a legal matter, please feel free to contact attorney Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.