Age discrimination is a significant problem in the United States. It happens when someone who is 40 or older is treated less favorably just because of their age. This can happen at any stage of employment, from when a person is looking to get hired to being laid off because of age.

Age discrimination can seem minor at first. Perhaps you’re laughing along with colleagues who call you grandpa or those who suggest that you’re getting too old to keep up with new technology. However, there is an underlying issue there, which is the assumption that age impacts your ability to do your job.

Forty isn’t old. It’s not even middle-aged, in many cases. For someone who is 40, they should be at the peak of their career or working up the ladder. This age shouldn’t be a marker for a time when people are declining in their abilities in the workplace. Unfortunately, after a study on age discrimination by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, it was found that middle-aged and young applicants were more likely to get callbacks than older applicants. Older female applicants fared the worst in the study.

Your age may not be an indicator of how well you can do your job. If you have the ability to do the work, then there is no reason why you should be overlooked just because of your age. If you can show that you were mistreated due to age, missed a promotion or were otherwise discriminated against, then you may be able to file a lawsuit against your employer for discrimination. It is your right to stand up for yourself.