Individuals as young as 40 years old may begin experiencing age-related workplace discrimination. According to AARP, it may include coworkers using hurtful words, making assumptions and isolating an employee from other workers. 

It appears coworkers seem to find it harder to refrain from repeatedly telling jokes about “getting old.” When a “joke” or comment about age or an age-related ailment becomes a regular pattern, an employee may have become a target of discrimination. 

Researchers find extended unemployment exists for older workers

During the second quarter of 2020, researchers discovered more than one million employees over the age of 55 had lost their jobs due to a layoff. Six months later, they remained unemployed, as reported by PBS News Hour. 

Wrongful terminations may occur when a company begins to lay off several older or more experienced workers. After a period of vacant jobs, an employer may then begin to fill those positions by placing ads targeted toward younger individuals who will work for less pay. The older former employees, however, do not have an opportunity to return to their former positions. 

The laws protect older individuals from age discrimination

In order for on-the-job age-based harassment to subside, an employee may need to report each occurrence to a supervisor. California and federal employment laws prohibit employers from retaliating in response to complaints. Employees who file complaints alleging age discrimination may not incur a retaliatory termination. 

All individuals of legal age have a right to work and to seek employment. Some employers, however, may prefer to not hire older individuals assuming that they may suffer from age-related health issues. During the application and hiring process, however, the law prohibits companies from engaging in age-based and discriminatory hiring practices.