When a workforce begins to age, it becomes more important to protect the rights of older workers. In 1967, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was written to ensure that employees above the age of 40 were given the same rights and considerations as younger ones—especially in matters of benefits, raises, promotions, and compensation.
Though Millennials will begin dominating the workforce in the next few years, Baby Boomers still make up 29% of the people working today. Gen Xers (those aged 36-51) dominated the workforce for a few years before Millennials took the lead, meaning in a few years, two large segments of the workforce will include people who need protection under the ADEA.
With that in mind, here are the clearest signs that you’re facing age discrimination:
#1: You’re being kept out of key meetings or activities.
When you’re being kept out of the loop, either socially or professionally, that’s a sign that you’re not considered as valuable as you once were. If you have suddenly been left out of meetings, despite no change in performance, your age might be a factor.
#2: Your performance reviews suddenly take a dive.
If you’re used to high marks and suddenly start receiving poor reviews, your boss may be building a case against you. Courts find suddenly poor reviews suspicious, so be sure to keep all documents.
#3: You hear more comments about “retirement” from bosses.
If your boss is asking you about retirement, even in a casual setting, then he or she is thinking about it. Make it clear that you plan on working for a long time, and get it on record in an email.
#4: You don’t get raises.
If you’ve stopped receiving raises from your company, that might be an issue. If younger workers continue to receive raises while you do not, that’s definitely an issue.
#5: The boss favors younger employees.
Even in a social or casual setting, a boss who favors younger workers is likely a boss who will hold a bias against older ones. Employers need to be mindful of all their employees—not just the young, less expensive ones. This is true even if your employer is the same age as you.
If any of this is true for you, you may have an age discrimination case. Keep a record of every comment, email, or incident that fits the above signs. In addition, express your age discrimination concerns to your HR department. It is illegal to fire you in retaliation for complaints about discrimination, so if you have lost your job after ageism complaints, call my firm immediately.
Dial 310.986.2792 for a free consultation. As a Los Angeles employment lawyer, I have over 30 years of experience protecting employees from unjust and illegal employment practices. Find out if you have a case.