Advocating For California Employee Rights

How does age discrimination happen in the workplace?

On Behalf of | Jun 23, 2023 | Discrimination

The statistics around ageism are damning and lay bare the pervasiveness of this type of workplace discrimination. A recent study revealed that nearly two-thirds of workers in the U.S. over 45 years old reported experiencing age-related discrimination firsthand. 

Age discrimination can create a hostile environment and hinder career progression, not to mention the emotional and psychological effects on the affected workers. As a worker, it helps to understand how ageism manifests in the workplace and assert your rights. Below are some of the ways to identify age discrimination.

Discriminatory hiring practices

One common occurrence of age discrimination is during the hiring process. Employers may display a preference for younger candidates, assuming that they possess more energy or technological skills. This bias can lead to older applicants being overlooked, regardless of their qualifications and experience.

Being overlooked in certain job opportunities

Promotion and advancement opportunities can also be affected by age discrimination. Older employees may be passed over for promotions in favor of younger colleagues, even if they are equally qualified. Stereotypes about older individuals’ ability to learn and adapt can unjustly hinder their career progression.

Training and development programs can become avenues for age discrimination as well. Employers may invest more resources in training younger employees, assuming that older workers are less capable of acquiring new skills or knowledge. This perpetuates the notion that age determines one’s ability to learn and grow professionally.

Indirect actions

Age discrimination can also be subtle and covert. Older employees may experience exclusion from decision-making processes, social activities or important projects. They may also face age-based microaggressions, such as comments or jokes that demean or stereotype them.

Protect your legal rights

If you encounter age discrimination in the workplace, it’s crucial to take appropriate action. Start by documenting incidents and addressing your concerns with your manager, HR or a trusted colleague. If needed, pursuing legal recourse may be necessary to put an end to the discrimination. 

Everyone deserves a workplace that is fair and inclusive, and it is essential to seek the necessary legal guidance to safeguard your legal rights.