Ask Yourself These Questions:
- Are you a long-term employee who has recently been assigned a younger supervisor who seems to disregard your previous accomplishments, or who seems to hold you to a more stringent performance standard than others?
- Have you noticed that your company’s recent hiring practices have resulted in a disproportionately young workforce?
- Are you being passed over for promotions in favor of younger employees who are less qualified?
- Are you being singled out and disciplined for conduct that is tolerated from your younger colleagues?
- Are your colleagues over 40 being laid off in greater proportion than the younger employees at your workplace?
- Does your supervisor make negative comments about your age?
Age discrimination is prevalent in our society. Managers making layoff or termination decisions can be influenced by negative stereotypes about older workers — or their relatively high earnings. At the same time, diminishing pensions and 401(k) portfolios are causing more and more older workers to stay in the job market well into their sixties and seventies. When these individuals are laid off, they often have great difficulty obtaining new employment.
People 40 years of age and older are protected from being discriminated against on the basis of age under the Age Discrimination Employment Act of 1967 (the “ADEA”). The ADEA prohibits discrimination when making hiring, firing, promotion, and demotion decisions. It also prevents employers from taking adverse action in the terms, conditions, or benefits of employment on the basis of age. The ADEA applies to employers with twenty or more employees.