6 Tips to Solve Age Discrimination in the Workplace
Despite the fact that it’s been illegal since 1967, many employees are still dealing with the effects of age discrimination in the workplace. Based on the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, it’s against the law for employers to provide unequal treatment to those age 40 and above in terms of hiring, firing, benefits, pay and promotions.
You can take proactive measures to counteract the biased opinions about older workers that still exist with some employers. Use these tips to demonstrate your continued worth and fight any discriminatory actions that may occur.
- Older employees can be the victims of lingering stereotypes. Employers may believe that they tire easily, resist change and have difficulties embracing technology. Show that you are more capable than other employees regardless of what age they may be. Keeping your skills fresh with continued training and volunteering for projects are two ways to illustrate your capabilities.
- Do you think you were laid off or denied a promotion based on your age? Be prepared with solid evidence to make your case. The standard of proof involves showing that you were performing your job at a level at least equal to younger employees, yet you were passed over for a specific benefit in favor of one of those younger employees. Keep documentation of all your performance reviews and look for evidence showing your unequal treatment compared to others at your same level and pay rate.
- Buyouts, severance pay and early-retirement offers are generally accompanied by waivers prohibiting you from pursuing age discrimination in the workplace claims. Be sure to consult an attorney before signing, especially if you believe you were indeed singled out because of your age. He/she will advise you whether or not you have a legitimate claim with a reasonable chance of success. By law you have a minimum of 21 days to consider the offer, which goes up to 45 days in the case of a group layoff. Even after signing, you have seven days to revoke your acceptance, but make sure you’re on solid footing.
- If you feel you’re receiving discriminatory treatment during the course of your active employment, your first step should be a discussion with the supervisor of the company’s human resources department. In some cases, managers have been genuinely unaware of their negative behavior and there is an opportunity to resolve the situation quietly without resorting to extensive and difficult legal action.
- Layoffs tend to affect older workers more strongly because of difficulties in finding new employment. You should still wait to assess your situation until the sting of dismissal has abated somewhat and you can be objective about the events. Remember that solid proof is required for an age discrimination lawsuit. Do you have a genuine reason to believe that your age played a part in the layoff? Think logically and carefully before taking action.
If you are suffering the effects of age discrimination in the workplace, you don’t have to fight it alone. Our experienced L.A. Age Discrimination Lawyer will work with you every step of the way to protect your rights. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.