Are you feeling that your age is becoming an issue at work? This can be extremely frustrating since you may be feeling the most useful and confident in your job now than ever before. New research is backing up the fear of age discrimination, showing that more than half of older working Americans are getting pushed out of their longtime jobs before they want to.
The sentiment of workers backs up the new data. When AARP asked workers between 45 and 74 about age discrimination, here is what they heard back:
- 20 percent believe their age played a role in being turned down for a job
- Two out of three said they have been discriminated against at work
- 10 percent say they lost a promotion, were laid off or did not have availability for career growth due to their age
Do you think you would notice if you are a victim of age discrimination at work? If not, here are a few signs to watch out for.
Jokes about your age
If a supervisor or manager has made jokes about your age, it could be more on their mind than you think. It would not take long from there for idea that your age, and it being a joke, mean that in their eyes you are not a competent worker.
Company is in a youth movement
Are you seeing that all the new employees coming in are young? If you suddenly see a pattern of younger employees becoming your co-workers, it may not be long before you are designated as someone who is over qualified for your own job.
Passed over for promotions and challenging assignments
Age discrimination is usually a state of mind and is not based on any tangible evidence of not being able to do your job. People can sometimes believe that with age comes the likelihood of laziness, slowness and forgetfulness rather than experience, knowledge and dedication. Because of this, if you see yourself being passed over for a promotion or from an important job assignment, it may be due to your age.
Employer brings up retirement
Granted, when you turn 50, you may start having thoughts of retirement. But in your mind, it could still be up to 15 or more years away. However, if your employer brings it up to you, they may be thinking more like a year or two from now. If you are being offered an early retirement package well before the time you are planning to go, it is most likely that your employer wants you out. Turning down a retirement offer may mean they move to other tactics to get you to leave sooner rather than later.
Bad reviews and unfair discipline
If you begin to see a change in attitude to the work you have done the same way for years and have been praised on, you better be on alert. This long-used tactic by employers is their way of building evidence that you are a sub-standard employee and gives them an excuse to let you go.
Age discrimination is very real and is happening in workplaces across the country. If you feel you have been a victim of a firing because of your age, you should speak with an employment law attorney right away to discuss if you are a victim of a violation by your employer.