There are all kinds of discrimination that can and does occur in the workplace. Discrimination based on gender, race, and religion get a lot of attention, but other forms of discrimination can be just as harmful. In fact, a lot of individuals find that they are passed over for jobs, demoted, or even fired simply because of their age. Fortunately for them, age is a protected class, which means that employers who make negative employment actions based solely on a person’s age can be held accountable for the damages they cause.
A closer look at age discrimination
There are a lot of nuances to the bar on age discrimination. To start, it only applies to those individuals who are 40 years old or older. In other words, younger people who are discriminated against based on their age probably don’t have legal recourse. Those aged 40 and over, though, can take legal action if they have been deprived of equal employment opportunities based on an employer’s actions that were taken solely based on the individual’s age. Age discrimination protections apply to every aspect of employment, too, from hiring to work assignments, promotions, and firing. It’s worth noting that the federal law on age discrimination only applies to those entities that have 20 or more employees.
Proving your age discrimination case
As with other forms of discrimination and harassment, building your case can be challenging. To better develop your position, document everything. Take notes of every discriminatory and harassing event, indicating when it happened, who was involved, what happened, and who witnessed the event. It’s also helpful to keep track of those individuals who have also been harassed or discriminated against, as well as those who can speak not only to the particularities of your case, but also to any aspects of the workplace culture that contribute to discrimination and harassment.
Don’t be afraid to seek out help
Far too often, we see people turn a blind eye to the discrimination and harassment that has negatively affected them. These individuals often chalk their experiences up to something much more minor than it actually is, which leaves them with nothing more that a bad experience and what could be significant damage to their reputation and career.
But this doesn’t have to be the case. Instead, those who have been affected by age discrimination or harassment can take action to right the wrongs that have been unfairly thrust upon them. For help with that, these individuals can turn to experienced employment law professionals.