ageism in the workplace

Signs of Ageism in the Workplace

While the modern workplace sees exceptional advancement in thwarting discrimination, there’s still a long road ahead. Discrimination comes in various forms, but one less-talked-about form is ageism. It can apply to younger and older workers, though the older demographic is the most common victim. Here are signs to be aware of in your workplace. 

Understanding Ageism 

Passed in 1967, the Age Discrimination Employment Act added a person’s age to the list of protected characteristics in the workplace. That means an employer cannot discriminate against an employee in the form of hiring, firing, duties, or promotions based on their age. 

Younger workers experience this form of discrimination by simply being told they’re too young for a position, when companies add a fixed number of years of experience as a requirement for an entry-level job designed for college graduates, and when they are given less in promotions than their older counterparts for no other reason than their age. 

On the older end, candidates for a position might be told the company is looking for someone with a lot of energy or an employee who hasn’t developed bad habits, both of which imply that age is the reasoning behind the decision. Being talked out of industry conferences and other growth opportunities or being pushed toward retirement are also forms of ageism. 

These are just a few examples to help you get a better idea of what ageism looks like. Regardless of the form it takes, it’s against the law. It also happens more than you might think, just ask these Los Angeles age discrimination lawyers. To help you identify when ageism happens in your workplace, keep an eye out for these common signs. 

Limiting Learning Opportunities

From educational coursework to reimbursement for higher education and industry conferences, workplaces across the nation offer their employees learning opportunities. If a company only offers these opportunities to the younger members of their staff while excluding the older ones, that’s ageism. 

Lacking Challenges

This sign takes two forms. The first happens when only one age demographic is receiving challenging assignments that help them grow professionally. The second is when only one demographic receives the more unpleasant and tedious assignments. 

Life Assumptions

On the younger side, ageism happens when managers assume their younger employees aren’t entitled to time off for family commitments because they do not have children. On the older side, a manager might assume a more elderly employee isn’t interested in company activities due to their aging body. 

Targeting Aging

In some cases, employers have fought against aspects of worker’s compensation cases with claims that the harm caused to an employee’s body wasn’t due to the accident but rather their old age. Was the end result of a broke bone caused by workplace hazard or an aging body?

This might seem like a simple claim to thwart in court, but companies are far more devious about it than most people realize. It often takes legal aid, like the help of these workers’ compensation attorneys in San Bernardino, to get the compensation you deserve and prove ageism. 

Comments and Remarks

Discrimination often takes the form of harassment. In the case of ageism, this often manifests as jokes centered around age and is particularly targeted towards older employees. It can also be more aggressive, like pressuring someone to retire.