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Fighting discrimination as a 40-plus-year-old worker

You spent many years working at your job, and you've always been prepared for the day when that job may no longer be an option. What you didn't expect was to be let go from a business doing fine in the economy because you're one of the oldest workers there.

You understand that the business wants to cut costs, and getting rid of those who make the most money makes sense. The problem is that all the individuals laid off recently have been 40 years old or older. You're beginning to think it's not just about your salary, especially because there are individuals working there who make much more than you at a younger age.

How can you fight back against age discrimination?

First, keep in mind that it's hard to prove age discrimination. You should begin to take notes and record the dates and times when you were discriminated against because of your age. If you hear people, for example, say they think you're getting too old for the job, that could be a sign that upper management is trying to get you to quit or is planning to find a way to let you go.

Next, go to human resources. They know what age discrimination looks like. Even if you don't agree with human resource's findings, having a complaint listed is helpful if you file a discrimination lawsuit. You can work with a lawyer to file an age discrimination suit against your employer.

Finally, remember that there may be times when older workers aren't suited to a certain job. In those cases, you may be able to take steps to make yourself a better fit. Start working out, learn about new technology and take steps to show the business that you're fit and ready to work.

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Stephen P. New, Attorney at Law
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