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What Should I Do if I Witness Age Discrimination at My Workplace?

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Our South Jersey Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Can Stand Up for You

Age discrimination, a form of workplace inequality, occurs when an employee is mistreated due to age. This type of behavior is not only unethical but also illegal under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967. The ADEA prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals 40 or older in all aspects of employment, including hiring, firing, promotions, and compensation.

If you witness age discrimination at your workplace, it is crucial to take action to help protect the rights of the affected individual and prevent further occurrences.

Here are some steps to follow:

  • Document the incident: Write down the details of the incident, including the date, time, location, and individuals involved. Include direct quotes or specific actions that demonstrate age discrimination. This documentation will be necessary if legal action is taken in the future.
  • Report the incident: Speak with your supervisor, HR, or another appropriate authority within your organization about the incident. Share your documentation and express your concerns about the discriminatory behavior. If your supervisor is responsible for the discrimination, report the incident to their superior or the HR department.
  • Support the affected individual: Offer emotional support and encouragement to those experiencing age discrimination. Let them know what you have witnessed and are willing to help them address the behavior. Encourage them to report the incident themselves, and offer to accompany them to meetings with management or HR if they feel uncomfortable doing so alone.
  • Educate yourself and others: Learn more about age discrimination laws, such as the ADEA, and educate your colleagues about the importance of treating all employees fairly, regardless of age. Promote a culture of inclusivity and respect within your workplace.
  • Consult a lawyer: If the discrimination continues after reporting the incident and supporting the affected individual, consider consulting a lawyer.

What Are Examples of Workplace Age Discrimination?

  • Hiring bias: Employers may exhibit age discrimination by favoring younger candidates during the hiring process. This could include using phrases in job advertisements that indicate a preference for younger workers. Additionally, employers may ask inappropriate questions during interviews that reveal age bias, like inquiring about a candidate’s age or graduation year.
  • Promotion denial: Older employees may be passed over for promotions in favor of younger colleagues, even when older employees have more experience or better qualifications. This can be a subtle form of age discrimination.
  • Forced retirement: In some cases, older employees may be pressured to retire earlier than they wish or are forced out of their positions without a justifiable reason. This could involve being given unfavorable work assignments, having responsibilities removed, or being subjected to negative comments about their age or ability to complete tasks.
  • Unequal pay and benefits: Age discrimination can manifest as unequal pay or benefits for older employees. This could include lower salaries, reduced bonuses, fewer opportunities for professional development, or diminished access to healthcare and retirement benefits compared to younger colleagues with similar roles and responsibilities.
  • Harassment and hostile work environment: Older employees may experience age-related harassment from coworkers or supervisors. This can include derogatory comments, jokes, or stereotypes about their age and being excluded from social events or professional opportunities. A hostile work environment can lead to decreased job satisfaction, reduced productivity, and even forced resignation.

Our South Jersey Employment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Can Stand Up for You

If you are experiencing age discrimination at work, speak with our South Jersey employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Call us at 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia and Pennsauken, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Marlton, Moorestown, and Mount Laurel.

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