Age discrimination occurs when workers over the age of 40 receive different treatment because of their age. It can be subtle or outright apparent, but in all cases, it can be hurtful to the person suffering the discrimination.
Age discrimination can lead to psychological damage that might qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. So, not only would you have a legal claim for discrimination but you also may be able to seek workers’ compensation benefits if you can prove your employer is liable for the harassment. To be able to hold your employer responsible, you will need to report the harassment.
Types of age discrimination
Age discrimination may come as off-handed remarks. People may talk down to you or make comments about you that reflect their bias. They may discount your ability to do your job or make fun of you for not understanding something. They could make jokes about age.
Reactions to the harassment
You may laugh off situations where people harass you due to your age, but it can be hurtful. Everyone has a right to a workplace that is not hostile. You have the right to not work with people who constantly put you down or harm you.
You should speak up and tell your coworkers you are uncomfortable with the jokes or comments. You can point out the treatment that is not acceptable. If this does not stop the issues, you should report it to your supervisor or human resources.
You should stand up for yourself. You do not have to deal with people in your workplace discounting you because you are an older worker. Your age should not be applicable to job assignments or work duties. Having to deal with a workplace where your coworkers treat you differently because of your age can take a mental toll, so you should be ready to say something and take action if it does not stop.