If you’re like many people, you suspect that you’ve been discriminated against in employment due to your age – but what is an example of age discrimination? What does this unlawful practice look like in person? This guide provides examples of age discrimination in the workplace you can use to draw parallels to your own situation. If you suspect an employer has discriminated against you because you’re 40 or older, you should absolutely get guidance from a Los Angeles discrimination attorney who can help.
What is an Example of Age Discrimination?
Age discrimination is illegal; if a worker or potential worker is age 40 or older, employers cannot use their age against them to make decisions about:
- Job assignments
- Any other term or condition of employment
However, it can be difficult to tell if an employer is using your age against you. Here are some examples that can help.
Age Discrimination in Job Ads
Employers aren’t allowed to try to restrict job applicants based on age. They’re supposed to equally consider everyone who is of legal working age. (You won’t be up against any 7-year-olds in your job hunt, for example, unless you’re going for a job modeling children’s clothing – and that type of age restriction falls under bona fide business needs, which we cover in the later section “Exploring Bona Fide Business Needs for Age Discrimination.”)
Employers generally can’t use language in job ads like:
- Age 20 to 30
- College students
- Recent college graduates
- Digital-age applicants
- Digital natives
These types of job ads can indicate an employer’s preference for younger workers – and it’s unlawful to prefer a younger candidate when any candidate could legitimately do the job.
Exploring Bona Fide Business Needs for Age Discrimination
Sometimes it appears as if employers are discriminating when they really aren’t. If an employer can show that it has a bona fide business need – that is, a valid reason – for hiring people of a certain age, it’s not generally unlawful. For example, if an employer is hiring someone to model kids’ clothing, it’s okay for them to prefer a child (and hire a child) to do the job. The same is true for a business that’s called “Counselors Under 30,” for example; if it’s a counseling agency that promises to set up 20-somethings with their peers for counseling, and if their business model depends on making these matches, it could go to court and explain that hiring a counselor over 40 wouldn’t be detrimental to their business. (Of course, this is a fictional example – it’s just here to show you that some businesses may have legitimate business needs to hire people in certain age groups.)
Examples of Age Discrimination in the Workplace
Age discrimination in the workplace can be tough to pin down. However, these examples can shed some light on what it may look like in your situation:
- Your manager gives you a negative performance review because you’re not “flexible” when it comes to taking on new projects
- You get fired because your company is trying to save money by paying younger workers who accept a lower wage
- You’re turned down for a promotion when your employer hired someone new for the spot, saying that the company needs a “fresh perspective” or something of that nature
- You’re among a number of other people laid off, and you’re all mostly over the age of 40 when those who remained were younger (and have less seniority or experience)
- You’re fired from your job after a supervisor has made remarks about you being “old” or “over the hill,” or has asked you when you’re going to retire to make room for younger workers
Although some of those examples may be questionable, they can all indicate possible age discrimination. If something like this has happened to you, it’s likely in your best interest to talk to an age discrimination lawyer in Los Angeles about your situation.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney About Examples of Age Discrimination in the Workplace?
If you suspect an employer has discriminated against you because of your age, we may be able to help you. Call us at 818-230-8380 or fill out the form below now to schedule your free consultation. We’ll work hard to get you the justice you deserve.