As millennials begin to age, some might soon encounter workplace bias for the first time. On-the-job harassment, which can consist of stereotypical jokes and comments on aging, may make a 40+ employee feel uncomfortable.
Individuals of any age, of course, may experience negative employment issues, such as those concerning compensation or a hostile workplace environment. As reported by the AARP, however, The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that employees between 40 and 54 filed as many as 37% of the complaints related to age discrimination in 2017.
Age-related incidents may require discussion
A repeated annoyance that causes an employee to suffer an adverse effect may require a private discussion with a supervisor or with a manager in the human resources department. By documenting each incident, an affected employee could present a convincing record of his or her mistreatment.
When an employer passes up a skilled individual for a promotion, the employee may question if age influenced the decision. If evidence shows favoritism toward a younger and less skilled worker, an employee may have experienced a bona fide case of age discrimination.
Age-related bias may affect hiring
Federal law protects employees over 40 against age-related bias when applying for a new position. If, for example, an employer does not hire an applicant and suggests that the individual take courses in the latest technology, the hiring decision may have displayed a bias.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 shields workers and job applicants who are at least 40 years old from discriminatory practices. As noted by the U.S. Department of Labor, actions that may reflect age-related bias include those related to compensation, hiring, unlawful discharge or promotions. Individuals who feel discriminated against may benefit from a legal action that provides a remedy.