As Baby Boomers are retiring (or so we thought) younger and younger Americans right out of colleges are occupying the spaces of an older worker. Employers might assume you’re close to retirement and don’t need that promotion, but that’s far from true for most Americans. They might also assume that older employees will miss more work or have more medical issues. Yet statistics show that older employees tend to be the most reliable and loyal. It’s not only imprudent to discriminate, it is illegal.
Who’s Protected From Age Discrimination?
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act says that it’s illegal for an employer to discriminate against you because of your age, 40 or older and only if the employer has at least 20 employees (or is a government of any size).
I am not at retirement age, but I am observing a trend in those who are eligible to retire.
Discrimination is hard to prove. Here are a few signs that you just might be a casualty of age discrimination in your workplace:
• If your boss calls you “old-school” or asks you. “When are you retiring?” or “How much longer do you plan to work?” Document it!
• Look around you. Pay attention to how younger employees are treated. Document it!
• If you’re disciplined for something that younger employees do without consequences, Document it!
• Building a case against you hoping you will retire.
• Relocating or detailing you to an undesirable location in hopes you will call it quits.
• You are more qualified than a younger employee, but your agency chose a 26 year old intern or fellow for a promotion who may be somehow connected to management, it could be because of your age. Document it!
• You over hear management making favorable comments about the young fellow’s future
• Opportunities for training are given to the younger workers. Document it!
• Creating a minnie-me and little gators
• Grooming-Placing the favored in an acting capacity to subsequently slide them into the position. Document it!
If you have a lot to offer in the workplace, do not get slighted by the above tactics and do not be discouraged. Document, document, document!
Federal employees have a completely different set of rules for filing a discrimination claim. We have 45 days to see a designated EEOC counselor, with an entire investigative process. It takes an act of congress for the process. Be particularly careful not to miss any deadlines.
Unless cited, the views expressed are solely the experiences and opinions of the author.
June Bridges Cox is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.