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How to prove workplace age discrimination

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Workplace Discrimination

Age discrimination in the workplace occurs when an employee or job applicant receives inferior treatment because of their age. It typically harms those 40 and older.

Proving age discrimination is challenging, but the appropriate steps can rectify this injustice.

Gather evidence

The first step in exposing wrongdoing is collecting proof of discrimination. Memorialize insensitive comments and jokes from employers or coworkers about age. Writing down the date, time and details of inappropriate remarks helps establish a pattern of age-related bigotry. Employees should also keep records of performance reviews and any correspondence that might suggest a bias based on age.

Compare treatment

Showing that an employer treats older employees differently can strengthen a case. Employees should note instances where younger peers are the recipients of favoritism. If older employees with similar or superior qualifications are consistently overlooked or targeted for layoffs, it could be due to discrimination.

Record policy changes

Sometimes, age discrimination becomes evident through changes in company policies or practices that disproportionately affect older staffers. Everyone should note new rules that seemingly target or disadvantage older workforce members. Examples include changes in job requirements, performance metrics or retirement policies that do not apply to anyone younger.

Seek witnesses

Having eyewitnesses who can corroborate claims of age discrimination can be powerful. Witness statements help confirm a pattern of behavior and strengthen a claim’s credibility.

Maintain professionalism

Throughout the process of gathering evidence and documenting instances of age discrimination, be professional. Taking a factual, objective approach helps ensure that the focus remains on proving the discrimination rather than getting into personal conflicts.

Employees should address and challenge discriminatory age-related practices. Fighting for what is right contributes to a fairer and more inclusive work environment.