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Tips on Proving Ageism in the Workplace

Tips on Proving Ageism in the Workplace

Sadly, age discrimination in the workplace happens every day, including here in Ohio, and is so common and insidious that laws have been passed prohibiting discrimination against those 40 years and older. In fact,  a new study has specifically found that women in the workplace face age bias, regardless of how old they are or what stage of their career they are in, making age discrimination one of the most common causes of discrimination in the workplace today.

As a result, if you suspect that you were discriminated against due to your age, you should reach out to an age discrimination attorney for a consultation to discuss your case and do it as soon as possible so as to gather as much supporting documentation as possible. Below, we discuss some of the steps involved in proving that age discrimination happened to you. In all instances of discrimination, you will want to gather as much documentation of what is happening and any mistreatment by building your own file and keeping track of correspondence:

You are in the protected age class

You must be 40 years old or older in order to qualify for protection under the law.

You were replaced by a significantly younger individual

You can sometimes learn about your replacement from coworkers, or your employer will even begin this process while you are still working. Note that it is still suspicious and can count as age discrimination if you are told your job is being eliminated, but a much younger person is hired under a different title but a similar job description.

A policy was implemented that detrimentally and disproportionately impacted older workers

This typically requires evidence of pattern and practice and will involve gathering some statistics and numbers on the treatment of employees in general in your workplace.

Younger employees with similar capabilities were treated better

This sometimes involves demonstrating that younger individuals were provided with a promotion that you desired, disciplined less harshly, retained in similar positions, etc., and otherwise treated more favorably than you. This could also include providing you with less coveted projects and more undesirable assignments while passing the more coveted projects to your younger counterparts.

At the time of the adverse action, you performed your job satisfactorily

Similar to a wrongful termination case, assume that your employer will justify their decision by portraying your performance as less than satisfactory; therefore, keep your employee file up to date, including with any performance reviews, emails commending your work, etc., that indicate otherwise.

There are others who were aware of the issue

Know that there may be other victims in your workplace who have experienced something similar, and these individuals can serve as witnesses. 

Your employer failed to take remedial action after reports of ageism

Your employer has a legal obligation to take remedial action if age discrimination has been reported. Also note that if you feel you have been retaliated against for reporting the issue, there may be separate claims involving retaliation.

Obtain a Free Confidential Legal Consultation From Our Columbus, Ohio, Age Discrimination Attorneys

If you believe that you have been the victim of age discrimination in the workplace or denied employment because you are 40 years old or older, you may have an age discrimination claim. Contact our Columbus, Ohio, age discrimination attorneys today to schedule a free consultation to find out how we can help.

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