Age discrimination is quite common, and unfortunately, it is difficult to prove, so many cases end up slipping through the cracks. Business Insider explains AARP reported for 2020 that 78% of older workers experienced some type of age discrimination.
However, in many of those cases, there is no punishment for the actions due to the difficult issues with proving a case in court.
Supreme Court guidelines
To prove age discrimination, the Supreme Court outlined that you must show your employer took actions they would not have taken if they were not discriminating based on age. That is a heavy threshold to meet in most cases.
The biggest issue with the difficulty of being able to prove age discrimination is that people do not take it as seriously as other types of discrimination. If you say you faced this type of harassment or an employer reacted in a certain way simply due to your age, many people will dismiss it. This doesn’t happen with race or sexual discrimination as often.
There are also many stereotypes about older workers that people buy into, such as they cannot handle workloads or they are slower than other workers. This is an area in which more work needs to happen to make people take it more seriously.
It is unfair that the standard to prove age discrimination is so high. Workers who face it may have trouble finding work or face obstacles in the workplace due only to their age, which is not right. Employers should have to follow the same standards in all cases to prevent all types of discrimination.