In an ideal workplace, every employee is valued based on their knowledge, skills, and work ethic. Unfortunately, not all workplaces operate that way. Workplace discrimination is all too common, and can rear its ugly head in a variety of ways.
Age discrimination is one example of discrimination in the workplace. It involves the unfair treatment of employees on the basis of age. Some examples of age discrimination at work include:
- Asking a job applicant his or her age during a job interview
- Using age-descriptive terms in job descriptions or recruiting materials (“seeking young, energetic employees”)
- Using age-descriptive terms when referring to someone at work (“old man” or “grandma”)
- Denying benefits to older employees
- Paying older employees less
- Terminating employment of an older worker on the basis of age
- Pressuring and employee to retire or repeatedly questioning an employee about his or her retirement plans
State and federal laws protect workers against all forms of age discrimination at work. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) both protect workers.
Age discrimination can be subtle. Most employees who experience age discrimination feel like something is wrong, but may not actually know that what they are experiencing is discrimination.
Whether signs are subtle or obvious, it is advisable for employees to seek advice from an employment law attorney. Victims of age discrimination may be eligible for compensation.