Recognizing and fighting age discrimination in the workplace

Members of the workforce over a certain age may experience discrimination based on their age because of an employer’s misunderstanding or blatant ignorance of state and federal law. Far too frequently employers mistreat older workers, typically those over age 40, in an unlawful manner as a means to appease their bottom line.

If you’re an employee in Indiana and suspect age-based discrimination in the workplace, understand that you have options for recourse. To make an adequate and reasonable age discrimination complaint, it’s important to know some of the common types and indicators of this type of employee mistreatment.

Basics of age discrimination

The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits an employer with more than 20 workers from discriminating against a person over age 40 based on their age. This legislation covers both employed persons and those applying for new positions. In Indiana, the state civil rights laws and regulations include stipulations for employees between the ages of 40 and 75 and expand coverage to employees of businesses with at least one hired worker.

Even with state and federal legal consequences, employers still seek out or utilize practices to discriminate against workers in various ways despite the legal consequences. Some may do so by attempting to withhold benefits and attribute this to the higher cost of covering aged workers with dependents than for covering younger employees.

In the job search, application and interview process, employers are either entirely or generally forbidden by law to include age preferences or ask for age-identifying information such as a birth date or graduation year. These tactics could deter older applicants, which is a form of discrimination in itself.

Fighting against discrimination at work

No one deserves to feel lesser than others in the workplace. It may be challenging to identify instances of age discrimination, but you could be better off by pursuing clarification with the help of legal and employment experts. The incident may seem minor and not worth fussing over, but your future and wellbeing are absolutely worth the time and effort to consider potential discrimination claims.

When in doubt, seek out expertise and advice in instances of possible age discrimination. Older employees bring experience and an important skill set to the workforce which should not go unnoticed or unappreciated. Your employment and future financial security is worth ensuring fair treatment in the workplace at any age and level of work.

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