If you are over fifty and are having difficulty at work, you may wonder if the problem is less your job performance and more your age. You are not alone. Sixty-four percent of respondents to an AARP survey believe that workers over fifty suffer from age discrimination in the workplace. Before you act on your suspicions, you need to know what legally constitutes age discrimination. Then you need to gather proof.
In 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that employees had to prove that their age was the primary cause of unfair treatment at work instead of being only a "motivating factor." This decision made winning age discrimination cases much more difficult. Other discrimination cases only require proof of a motivating factor, so if you are older, your employer can consider your age when treating you differently than the rest of the staff.
Although Congress has attempted to pass the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act several times, it still has not become law. As a result, older workers face a tough time proving they have suffered unfair treatment.
Proving your case will require the help of an employment lawyer, but you can gather and evaluate evidence yourself. For instance, if your employer actually makes ageist comments to you or about you, a legal case will be far easier to prove. Although many employers are not so reckless as to openly discriminate, a few do. If your boss tells you that you are "long-in-the-tooth" or that he can hear your bones creak, take notes. Write down the date, time, and who was present. Obviously, any emails that reference your age are invaluable to a possible legal action.
If you are being left out of events that other, younger members of the staff attend, you may be suffering from discrimination, particularly if the other employees are at or below your job level. Also, if all the new office hires are young, it may be an indication of company-wide discrimination.
Remember to look at your evidence dispassionately. Not all negative workplace experiences are based in discrimination. However, if you are over fifty, you may be a target. If you think you have a case, contact a reputable employment attorney for help. He or she will give you an honest appraisal of your case's merits and instruct you on what to do next. Getting older is tough enough without having to fight the specter of age discrimination. Do not be afraid to stand up for your rights.
For more information, contact Michael Terrence Conway & Co or a similar firm.
If you've decided that you want to adopt a child, the first thing you should do is reach out to a family law attorney. While it may not seem logical to get an attorney involved from the start, it's important that you protect yourself legally from the beginning. After making the decision to adopt, I have been through the process several times. I created this site to help other adoptive parents understand what they can expect from the entire process, including the legal support you're likely to need. I hope this information helps you feel more confident in this major life decision.