During their teenage years and in their early 20s, people often tell this age group that they lack experience to be good enough at something. Time goes by, you gain experience and then someone may tell you — or at least make you feel — that your age is now a hindrance to your success. There seems to be just one age group that is desirable to have in the workplace. However, Rhode Island and elsewhere prohibit companies from practicing age discrimination, right?
Yes, age discrimination is against the law. Unfortunately, some business owners or their staff will try to find ways around the law in order to hire and promote who they want.
Age discrimination is…
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines age discrimination as the treating of a person unfairly due to his or her age. While it can happen to younger individuals, the laws in place are there to protect those in their 40s or older. Some examples of age discrimination include:
- Refusing to hire
- Refusing to promote
- Firing without real cause
- Offering unfair wages
- Offering limited benefits packages
- Limiting job assignments
The list can go on. The problem with any of these issues, though, is proving that they are age related. This is not always an easy task.
What about harassment?
Age discrimination goes beyond any unfair actions taken by employers and their management staff. Plenty of people have been the subject of age-related harassment in the workplace. Now, people joke about things during the day, but this harassment goes beyond jokes or offhanded comments. Harassment is any action taken by any employee that makes you feel that your work environment is hostile. No one should feel that way, ever.
What to do about it?
If you believe that you have been or currently are the victim of age discrimination, you can actually do something about it if you want to. If legal action is appropriate, with the assistance of legal counsel, you may file a complaint in court and with the EEOC against your employer and any staff members involved.
Wondering what is the point? It is all about protecting yourself. There is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself. There is nothing wrong with seeking compensation for any losses the age discrimination caused you. There is nothing wrong with wanting to hold those responsible accountable.