Discrimination based on your age can take many different forms. Direct and indirect age discrimination are two of the most prevalent forms of age discrimination.
A direct example of age discrimination would be if your employer refuses to allow you to participate in training because of your age, but allows younger employees to do so.
Alternatively, an employer might promote a younger employee despite the fact that the younger employee possesses the same qualifications, title, and experience as the older employee.
Both examples demonstrate how an employer treats one group differently than another based on their age, despite the fact that all other circumstances are identical.
Direct age discrimination is, however, permitted in some circumstances. If the employer can demonstrate that the discrimination was justified, the discrimination is not illegal. Rather than that, it is a matter of objective justification.
For instance, if a person under the age of 18 applies for a job on a construction site, the company may decline to hire him or her because accident statistics indicate that working in such an environment can be dangerous for anyone under the age of 18.
Because direct discrimination is not always obvious or if an objective justification defense exists, it is best to consult with an experienced discrimination attorney who can advise you of your rights and analyze the facts.
Indirect discrimination occurs when an employer has a specific company policy that disadvantages members of a particular age group. Indirect age discrimination occurs when you are 23 years old and discover that you are ineligible for promotion due to the company policy that only employees with graduate degrees are eligible for promotion. While this is true for all employees, it indirectly disadvantages people of a certain age group because they are less likely to possess the graduate degree qualification.
Another example would be if a chiropractor allows patients to pay in installments rather than in full for their sessions, but only if the patients are employed. This may constitute an indirect discrimination against older workers, who are less likely to find work.
As with direct age discrimination, indirect age discrimination is permissible if there is an objective justification or if the employer can demonstrate that the company policy has a sound rationale.
various forms of age discrimination
As is the case with direct discrimination, it is critical to consult with an experienced employment attorney in New York City to analyze the facts and determine the strength of the objective justification defense.
According to the AARP, the following are seven real-world examples of age discrimination against older workers.
When an employer makes disparaging remarks about younger employees, such as “energetic” and “new blood,” it may indicate a discriminatory mindset on the part of the employer.
When an employer restricts training, promotions, and more difficult job assignments to younger employees, this may be a sign of ageism.
Insulting remarks about one’s age are sufficient to foster a hostile work environment.
Remarks that older workers lack an understanding of technology and social media or are incapable of working as hard as younger workers can indicate a discriminatory attitude.
If the employer spends the majority of his or her time with younger employees, this may be a sign of discrimination.
If a company terminates only older employees and then reassigns their job duties to younger employees with a different job title, this could be a sign of discrimination.
If a company penalizes an older employee for poor performance despite the employee’s excellent performance ratings, this may be a sign of discrimination.
Please keep in mind that additional instances of discrimination may exist that were not mentioned above. As such, it is prudent to consult an experienced employment law attorney to determine whether your situation may be indicative of age discrimination.