Those who are just starting their careers often only command entry-level wages. It takes years of experience to secure the best positions and the most competitive compensation available in a particular field. Whether someone wants to become a manager or a project lead, they will need to commit themselves to developing their abilities within a particular niche.
It usually requires years, if not decades, of experience for professionals to reach their optimal earning potential. Those in their 40s and 50s typically earn much more than employees in their 20s and 30s, as a result. Unfortunately, not all employers put the appropriate value on worker experience. In fact, they may do exactly the opposite. They may unfairly discriminate against older employees and deny them appropriate opportunities in order to minimize their labor costs.
Due to this phenomenon, workers facing age discrimination may lose out on new jobs, promotions and projects that would advance their careers. These workers generally need to speak up about the age discrimination they have experienced if they hope to benefit from justice.
What constitutes age discrimination?
Federal law includes being over the age of 40 as one of the protected characteristics for workers. Businesses should not consider someone’s age if they are 40 or older when deciding who to hire, fire or promote. Despite this rule, many companies have a bias toward youthful employees that harms older professionals.
This bias may manifest in many different ways. Older workers may find themselves getting fewer sales leads or getting bumped off of the best projects. They may watch workers who are younger and have far less experience moving into positions they have sought for years. Sometimes, older workers may have a hard time obtaining new jobs. Other times, they may endure a hostile work environment where managers or coworkers make fun of them over their age.
Fighting age discrimination requires evidence
For a worker to successfully fight back against age discrimination, they typically need proof that negative employment actions relate to their age. Records of repeated unfair decisions or abuse from coworkers can help someone develop their allegations that an employer has engaged in age discrimination or allowed harassment to proliferate in an employment environment.
Learning more about one’s rights is an important step for anyone who believes that they have experienced age discrimination or discrimination based on any other protected characteristic on the job. Seeking legal guidance accordingly is a wise step forward.