You’ve worked your whole life, or most of it. You’ve worked either in the home or in the workplace, or perhaps a little bit of both. Perhaps you’ve raised children or you’ve devoted yourself to your career. You’ve earned the right to be free of denigration, hostility, intimidation or abuse simply because of your age.
Everyone ages, and even your tormentors will be where you are one day, if they’re lucky. In the meanwhile, however, with the typical arrogance of youth (of which you and everyone else was once guilty), you’re told you’re getting slower, you are asked when you’re going to retire, you’re told the company needs to “go in a new direction,” or that it needs a more “youthful” look or a pair of “fresh eyes.”
These are some of the many code words for age harassment and discrimination. Sometimes, people have a genuine hostility to those who are older, and sometimes people are just uncomfortable with the fact that they, one day, will also age. They think that life is a game for the young only, and they think their customers and clients need to see young faces.
Sometimes, it’s not so much about the age as a number, but about the fact that your looks are not as appealing as an 18- or 25-year-old. Sometimes it’s about what your employer worries the perception of clients and customers and business relationships might be.
At the end of the day, no one can harass you, intimidate you and subject you to a hostile working environment simply because of your age. The Mount Laurel, New Jersey, employment civil rights attorneys at Costello & Mains, LLC, have been protecting the rights of older workers for nearly 30 years years. We understand that it’s your work that should speak for you, and that you should not be judged in the workplace on any other criteria. If they can’t respect you, at least we’ll make sure they don’t harass you.