Millennials should be prepared for age-related mistreatment

Like most people approaching 40, you probably see yourself as fit and sharp enough to continue contributing to the workforce and economy for many more years. Unfortunately, workplace ageism could mean that some managers and co-workers see you differently than you see yourself.

Here in New York’s competitive work environment, millennials are nearing a time when they may encounter age-related biases on the job. Knowing what could happen in advance can help you stay informed. Better yet, it can prepare you to resolve your unlawful age discrimination. Under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), workplace discrimination against those 40 and older due to their age is illegal.

Recognize age bias

Sometimes, age discrimination is obvious. However, it can also happen subtly. Be mindful of sudden changes in your workload or assignments, exclusion from professional opportunities or even off-hand comments about your age or fitness. Don’t hesitate to address these concerns directly with your manager, or the human resources department.

Document your experience

Whether you strongly suspect workplace ageism or are unsure what is happening, record the details of your experiences. Maintaining a log of discriminatory events, with their dates and times, is a simple way of recording your mistreatment.

Save emails and other communications that reinforce any discrepancies in treatment. Consider asking for witness statements if appropriate.

Protect your position

Continue exceeding expectations at work and make formal reports of discriminatory incidents through appropriate channels. This approach helps lay an evidence-rich foundation for your case with official reports and other documents to support your claim.

It is never too late to stand against unlawful workplace discrimination, even if you have not taken any of the above steps. Consider seeking guidance from a legal representative familiar with New York employment law and age discrimination.

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