If you have ever been placed in a position at work where others have mistreated, harassed, or penalized you simply due to your age, you know how upsetting, frustrating, and defeating it can feel. No matter how hard you try or how positive your performance, there may be visible or invisible limitations on your potential at the employer based on something you cannot control—your age.
You may have remedies at your disposal to protect yourself against age discrimination. Under federal law, employees who are 40 years old or older are protected from age discrimination in the workplace. In Michigan, employees have a far broader right to be free from age discrimination in the workplace regardless of whether they are a younger or older worker.
No matter where you work or apply for a job, you should know what ageism might look like. Spotting these signs can help you protect your rights and hold parties accountable for violations. Some signs are more blatant; others, more ambiguous. Some signs of age discrimination can include:
- Age-biased language in job listings, like “recent college graduate” or “digital native;”
- Questions on a job application or at an interview about your age or meant to determine your age;
- Comments made by management referencing your age like “You weren’t even born when . . .”
- Workers being excluded from meetings, trainings, or work outings due to their age;
- Derogatory or offensive comments frequently being made about age;
- Employer’s website or other promotional materials only highlighting employees of a certain age bracket;
- Promotions based on age bracket;
- Layoffs including all or mostly employees of a certain age bracket;
- Older employees being questioned or otherwise pressured about retirement;
- Paying workers differently based on their age; and
- Work rules and job expectations that are different for employees based on their age.
Given how factually complicated claims of age discrimination can be, it is recommended that you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. The employment lawyers of Miller Cohen PLC offer free telephone consultations—just call 313-566-4787.