According to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, discriminating against workers because of their age is illegal. Federal law only protects victims of workplace age discrimination if they are over the age of 40, and if the employer is a government entity or has 20 or more employees. However, there are exceptions. A MA injury attorney can help you recover damages if you were harmed due to any type of workplace discrimination. Determining whether age discrimination actually exists can be tricky. That’s why having a knowledgeable injury attorney is crucial to the outcome of your case.
Needless to say, older Americans are still quite capable of putting in years of dedicated, hard work. In fact, statistics show that older workers are generally more reliable than their younger counterparts. But this isn’t always reflected in employer decisions. Some companies may incorrectly assume that your advanced age means you are close to retirement and won’t be “in it for the long haul.” Simply claiming that you didn’t get a job due to your age, however, may be difficult to prove without supporting evidence.
Proving Age Discrimination
The signs below are good indicators that you may be a victim of workplace age discrimination. If any of these apply to you, a Boston injury attorney can help you determine if you have a legal claim against your employer or potential employer.
- Inappropriate or biased remarks: These are the most obvious indicators, but also the rarest. If your boss calls you “grandpa” or asks you to project a younger image, these remarks provide direct evidence of discrimination. Document the comment and jot down the names of any witnesses, and the date, time, and place that the comment was made.
- Different treatment: Are young employees treated differently than older employees under the same circumstances? If a company-wide lay off seemed to target mostly older employees, this could be evidence of age discrimination. Right down the names and ages of workers who were laid off as well as the names and ages of less-qualified workers who were not.
- Biased discipline: If younger workers get away with coming in late, but you keep getting written up, document this disparity. Your employer may be building a case against you in order to fire you for cause (while protecting the company from a lawsuit).
- Failure to receive a promotion for which you were the most qualified candidate: If a younger, less-qualified employee received a promotion that you applied for, your age may have played a role.
- Playing favorites: If younger workers receive better assignments and equipment and you seem to always get the leftovers, favoritism may be a factor. Similarly, it may be a sign of age discrimination if supervisors only socialize with younger workers, or exclude older workers from important meetings and events.
- New hires are all young: If you notice that your company only seems to hire younger employees these days, age discrimination is a very real possibility.
- Harassment: If you feel that your boss is making you miserable just so that you will quit, document these actions, and write down witness information. Even if your boss is older than you, he or she may still prefer younger employees…and that’s still age discrimination.