A lot of people think that as they get older and more experienced their employer will value them more. While that’s the case in some circumstances, the truth is that a lot of employers try to push out older employees for one reason or another. These employers might find it too expensive to compensate more experienced individuals, or they might want what they perceive to be fresher perspectives in their workplace. If you’re an older worker and feel like you’ve suffered from a negative employment action due to your age, then you might want to consider whether taking legal action is right for you.
Know how age discrimination occurs
Age discrimination can occur in a lot of ways, but it’s not always easy to spot. That’s why it’s imperative that you stay alert and look for these signs that you’ve been discriminated against.
- “Job elimination”: One way that employers try to clear out older workers is by releasing those workers because their position has been eliminated. In other words, it appears as if the company is downsizing or restructuring, and there’s simply no room for that worker. Shortly after being released, though, the employer reinstates the position and hires a younger worker. In many instances, this type of action is considered age discrimination. If you’re being told that your position is going to be eliminated, make sure that you’re not voluntarily leaving, as that could jeopardize your ability to pursue legal action later on.
- Promotion of younger and more inexperienced workers: This is a classic form of age discrimination that occurs when the company passes over a qualified and experienced older worker for a younger and less experienced worker. This is often done as a way for the company to save money, as they can pay a younger worker a lot less than an older, more experienced worker. So, if you’ve been passed over for a promotion that you felt like you deserved, then carefully analyze the underlying circumstances to determine if the promotion was discriminatory in nature.
- Inconsistent discipline: Sometimes employers are quicker to impose disciplinary action on older workers while refraining from disciplining younger workers for the same actions. This can be a way to push older workers out of the company. But this misapplication of disciplinary principles can constitute age discrimination.
- Disparate impact: In some instances, employers implement policies, which, on their face, seem appropriate. In action, however, those policies can end up having a disproportionate impact on those of a protected class, including those who fall in a certain age range. This type of disparate impact discrimination can be challenging to prove, and you’ll likely need statistics to back up your claim, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t thoroughly assess the policies that impacted you. After all, they may form the basis of a successful discrimination claim.
Know how to navigate your employment law challenges
Employment law is riddled with legal challenges. You need to be ready to approach these matters head-on in a competent and aggressive fashion if you hope to protect your rights, find accountability, and recover the compensation you deserve.
We know that it can be tough to stand up to your current or former employer, but you don’t have to be afraid. Instead, you can work closely with an advocate who understands the complexities of this area of the law and can help you build the holistic legal arguments you need to position yourself for success. If you think that you could benefit from that kind of assistance, then we encourage you to continue to browse our website to see what we have to offer.