As an older worker in Indiana, you may know first hand what it feels like to experience discrimination. Ageism affects people as young as 40 years old and can have serious repercussions on productivity, mental health, financial stability and emotional wellbeing.
According to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, you have rights in the workplace. Your employer should offer protection against negative stereotypes, such as older employees are slower and less technologically advanced.
Understanding employers’ responsibilities
Workers should be hired according to their ability rather than judged by their age. Under the age discrimination act, employers are prohibited from the following:
- Reducing your wages once you hit a certain age
- Failing to hire you based on your age, even if you meet the posted qualifications
- Limiting your benefits and contract terms, such as compensation, paid time off and other privileges
- Depriving you from advancing in your job or obtaining an opportunity
- Forcing you to retire once you hit a certain age
These terms also hold true for labor organizations, which are restricted from depriving older employees from obtaining membership in the group based solely on their age.
If you file a claim of age discrimination with your employer, it should be taken seriously and handled professionally. Employers should offer training and educate workers on the importance of treating everyone fairly based on their skills, experience and qualifications.
Knowing your rights
You have the right to be treated fairly, no matter your age. According to AARP, you should talk with a manager at work to see if you can find a solution to the problem before you file a claim. Some employers will work with you to fix the problem or offer you a settlement without going through court.
Be sure to keep a record of the discriminatory acts. If you wish to pursue the claim in court, it is critical that you do so within 180 days to avoid having the case expire.