Employers across the board try to make the workplace accommodating and comfortable for all employees, but unfortunately, no manager can oversee the entire workplace on their own. Instances of discrimination can easily slide by unreported.
This means it is more important than ever to remain vigilant against different types of discrimination, including age discrimination, which has seen an uptick in many workplaces.
What does ADEA safeguard against?
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discusses discrimination based on age in the workplace. This times out with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) covering the oldest of millennials starting this year, as it applies to everyone aged 40 and up.
ADEA safeguards employees from discrimination based on age, i.e. the unlawful denial of benefits, promotions and so on due to someone’s age. From management, this often takes the form of denials of promotion or raises, especially in favor of less experienced but younger workers. Employers often cite concerns about physical health or capabilities when making such decisions.
Toxic workplace environments
But even fellow employees can discriminate based on age. They can make remarks about a person’s appearance or mental and physical capabilities specifically tied to how old they are. If this badmouthing creates a toxic workplace environment, then it constitutes harassment and the targeted employee can take legal action if they so choose.
As the workforce continues to age and people stay in for longer periods of time, age discrimination will also undoubtedly face a rise. ADEA is something anyone can turn to when facing unjust discrimination based on their age in the workplace.