Discrimination in the workplace takes on many forms, including gender and race discrimination. Age discrimination, which still occurs regularly in Indiana companies, often remains tricky to identify.
If you are an older worker, a few signs from management and other workers can alert you to detrimental treatment at your place of work.
The use of troubling language
Information from AARP reveals how using specific coded phrases can indicate a bias against workers in their 40s, 50s or older. Any emphasis on the favorable aspects of younger workers, such as “energetic” or “youthful” or even “recent graduate” could devalue your contribution and your standing with the company. The problem worsens when the use of this type of language becomes systematic and part of the company culture.
Similarly, words that denigrate older workers or point out deficiencies of older people can create a corrosive atmosphere. One or two comments in jest could be innocent, but severe and pervasive comments suggest something more damaging.
The presence of targeted demotions or firings
A company in the process of reorganization can run into trouble if a high percentage of older workers receive demotions or layoffs. If you encounter this scenario, filing an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint could lead to an investigation that looks into the ages of those let go. Your company will likely need to provide documentation or a clear rationale for targeting older workers.
Federal law prohibits age discrimination. You can take several steps to exert your legal rights in the face of unfair labor practices.