As an employee, you know that you shouldn’t be discriminated against because you’re over 40 years old. There are laws in place to prevent age discrimination against older workers in the United States. This doesn’t mean that companies must hire older workers, but they do need to give them a fair chance to get and keep their jobs, advance in them and otherwise enjoy the privileges of employment in the ways that younger workers do.
Unfortunately, many employers still discriminate on the basis of age. They may just try to disguise what they are doing. These are two discriminatory tactics that employers sometimes use when trying to hide unlawful conduct of this kind.
Making other excuses to fire a worker
An employer may decide they want to terminate an older worker who has a more expensive salary and replace them with someone younger. They know that they cannot use the other worker’s age as the reason for the firing, so they will invent other excuses.
For instance, they may simply claim the person doesn’t fit the company culture anymore or something of this nature. But they could also change the way they view that person’s work. Maybe they’ve had nothing but positive performance reviews for the last 20 years, when they suddenly start getting written up for all sorts of minor infractions. These were things that either didn’t happen before or were always ignored – and which are still being ignored for younger workers. In this scenario, the employer is working to create a paper trail to justify the firing.
Using alternative language
Age discrimination in hiring is sometimes disguised by using language that suggests an age range without explicitly stating it. One way that this happens is when an employer says they want to hire a recent college graduate. The implication is that the person they hire should be relatively young, probably in their mid-20s. Workers in their 50s could technically have recently graduated from college, but the majority of college graduates are going to be much younger than them. That means that older workers don’t feel like they should apply or are perhaps not given the fair treatment that they deserve if they do apply.
What options do you have?
It’s frustrating if you feel like you are being discriminated against based on your age and other factors that you cannot control. Fortunately, the law is on your side, so be sure you look into your legal options carefully as you work to address any unjust and unlawful mistreatment.