When you go to work, you have the right to do your job in an environment that is free from harassment and other types of mistreatment. You should not be subject to discrimination on any basis and for any reason, including your age. Unfortunately, however, older employees do sometimes experience discriminatory treatment from their employers and co-workers. If you think you are a victim, you do not have to remain silent.
It is not always easy to determine if what you are experiencing counts as discrimination. It may be helpful for you to understand the types of behaviors that count as discrimination and how you can benefit from taking action to protect yourself. You have rights as an employee, and employers have an obligation to prevent the development of a hostile work environment.
Signs of a problem
At first, you may begin to notice small signs of a potential problem in the workplace, such as negative comments about your age that could be jokes. You may start to feel excluded from certain things, or you may not receive the same opportunities as your younger co-workers. Proving that you are a victim of discrimination is not always easy, but the following signs could indicate that you have a valid reason to take action:
- Your employer reassigned you to unpleasant duties no one else wants to take.
- You were part of a layoff or buyout offer while younger employees were not.
- You have not received a raise or bonuses that you earned.
- Your performance reviews have not been positive, even though you have performed as expected.
If you are a victim of age discrimination in the workplace, there are legal options available to you. You may be able to hold your employer accountable for acting in a discriminatory manner or allowing the development of a hostile work environment.
Don’t wait to speak out
Victims of age discrimination in the workplace do not have to remain silent. You may fight back against inappropriate treatment, seek fair compensation and ensure that no one else experiences the same thing. Discrimination cases are complex, and you will benefit from seeking a professional opinion regarding the legal options available to you. Quick action is important to the outcome of these cases, so you will benefit from taking the first steps as soon as possible after you notice signs of a problem.