When you have diligently served in an organization in various roles for decades, you’d hope your employer would accord you the respect you deserve. And most often, this is what happens: Senior team members are considered the organization’s most precious employees.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for some senior employees to experience ageism in the workplace. If you believe you are a victim of ageism at work, you need to fight for your rights. Before you do, however, it helps to understand what ageism is and how to recognize it.
Understanding ageism in the workplace
Also known as age discrimination, ageism happens when an employee is treated differently based on their age. You can experience age discrimination in various aspects of employment, from recruitment, assigning roles, compensation, promotions and contract termination.
State and federal laws prohibit employers from discriminating against their employees. Here are a few signs you need to look out for if you suspect that you are being discriminated against based on your age:
Persistent age-related comments that are directed at you: If your employer or manager is routinely making demeaning or degrading comments about your age, then chances are you could be a victim of age discrimination.
Being overlooked for promotions: Promotions at work are based on a number of factors like qualifications, skills and experience among other factors. That said, if you note that your employer is bypassing you for promotions in favor of younger and less qualified employees, then chances are you could be a victim of age discrimination at work.
Fighting for your rights
Ageism at work can be demoralizing and disheartening, to say the least. If you suspect ageism or other forms of discrimination at work, you need to take appropriate steps to safeguard your rights and interests.