Subtle but hostile behaviors may indicate age discrimination

The work-a-day-world is not always a friendly place in which to reside. The fact is that companies frequently make changes and are looking for ways to trim the bottom line. Of course, labor constitutes one of the biggest expenses businesses have to cover. So when looking to cut costs, a company may try to assess which employees it wants to shed from its workforce. And unfortunately, it is frequently older workers who are targeted for termination.

In an effort to get you to voluntarily quit your job, your employer may create a hostile work environment by engaging in different demoralizing behaviors, which could include such things as:

  • Passing you over for promotions in favor of younger, less qualified co-workers.
  • Applying disciplinary actions against you that are not applied to younger employees who commit the same indiscretions.
  • Making biased comments that refer to your age, such as "How's it going grandma?" or asking you what you're going to do when you retire.
  • Suddenly giving you negative performance reviews after you hit a certain age, such as 50 or 60.

Being on the receiving end of age discrimination can be an angering and frightening experience. However, if you are a worker who is 40 years of age or older and you work for a company that has 8 or more employees, you are afforded certain protections by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and/or the Tennessee Human Rights Act.

Therefore, if you suspect your employer is trying to get rid of you because of your age, there are a couple of things you can do to defend yourself. First, document any workplace incidents that you believe indicate age discrimination. And second, take your evidence to an experienced employee rights attorney.

The attorney can help you file a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and work on your behalf to get the matter resolved, which may include getting you financial compensation, the promotion you deserve or your position back if you were terminated unfairly.

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