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What are the signs of employee age discrimination?

There are many types of employment discrimination, but one that may not receive as much attention is age discrimination. Older employees are often valuable yet overlooked in favor of younger workers who, according to the American Association of Retired Persons, may receive more attention, perks and positions that offer them more opportunities.

Ageism is sometimes difficult to spot, but there are several signs older employees can watch for if they believe their workplace is favoring younger workers.

Voicing ageist assumptions

Employers who make jokes about older employees finding themselves confounded by social media platforms, internet browsers and software may have ageist ideas and a mindset that employees over a certain age cannot learn new systems or that they have a fear of technology. Speaking out against such assumptions or demonstrating technology skills may help change these attitudes.

Unfair work assignments

Some employers may believe that only their younger works have the ambition and energy to tackle difficult or challenging tasks, which might result in those employees earning bonuses and other high-profile assignments. Older employees often have a great deal of experience, but they may get overlooked if their employers have a discriminatory mindset.

Ageist remarks

While an occasional comment or jest is usually not a problem, especially when the target of the remarks is in on the joke, persistent ageist language can lower an older employee’s self-confidence. Remarks such as, “Bob is long in the tooth” or “Jane really is an old workhorse,” are often hurtful and can lower office morale overall.

Older employees who feel isolated by their employer’s viewpoints may become unhappy and the quality of their work might suffer. Individuals may want to collect evidence of this discrimination before they try to resolve the issue via company guidelines.

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