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3 forms of age discrimination that can hurt your career

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2022 | Employment Law |

Modern culture puts a lot of value on youthfulness. Although experience and wisdom only come with age, many people have a hard time looking past appearances in the workplace.

Older professionals may be better suited to take over a project or move into a management role, but decision-makers within the company may discriminate against them. Federal law defines age discrimination as any consideration of a worker’s age for employment decisions once they reach the age of 40.

Older workers should not have to worry about losing out on a promotion or getting fired because of how old they are. What are some of the more common forms of age discrimination?

Treating older workers like they are incompetent

One of the many forms of ageism is the assumption that older workers can’t handle technology. In reality, most middle-aged workers have had decades of technological experience.

If your supervisor assumes that you can’t use basic devices or programs, you may feel humiliated because of how they treat you in front of your colleagues. Even worse, they may pass you over for important projects or promotions because of their internal bias about older workers.

Assuming the worker is preparing for retirement

Many workers over the age of 40 still have career goals they want to achieve, whether they hope to close a particularly large sale or achieve a higher role in the company. When members of the management and human resources teams view someone as ready to retire, they may not give them appropriate consideration for major projects, new clients and advancement opportunities.

Finding a questionable excuse to let you go

One of the most insidious forms of ageism involves companies trying to push out workers after they reach a certain age.

You may not have had any major changes to how you do your job, but your employer may suddenly have a worse perception of your performance. They might write you up repeatedly for little infractions that they ignore in younger workers. You might also find yourself in a cohort of multiple older employees who all get let go during restructuring or downsizing.

Your age should not factor into the decisions your employer makes about your role at the company or your compensation. Fighting back against age discrimination can protect your career and other people working at the same company.