No matter your age, you have the right to work in an environment that is free from harassment, discrimination and other forms of mistreatment. Unfortunately, older employees may sometimes find they face challenges in a Washington, D.C., workplace, and this may include facing certain types of discrimination. Discrimination for any reason, including a person’s age, is inexcusable, and victims could have grounds to take legal action.
If you believe you are a victim of age discrimination in your place of work, it is in your interests to take steps to learn about the legal options available to you. You may be able to hold liable parties accountable for any mistreatment you experienced in your place of work. Your age should have no bearing on your ability to be a valuable, knowledgeable and capable employee.
How can you know if it’s discrimination?
It may not be easy to determine if what you experienced is simply rude behavior or discrimination. You could be dealing with age discrimination if you are experiencing less favorable treatment than others in your workplace because of how old you are. The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits discrimination against individuals in the workplace who are 40 or older. The D.C. Human Rights Act prohibits age discrimination against anyone over age 18. This type of treatment can take place at any stage of the employment process, including during:
- Hiring and interview process
- Opportunities for advancement or promotion
- Determination of benefits
- Termination or downsizing decisions
You could experience discrimination from others in your workplace, as well as those in authority over you. It is also possible your employer is facilitating the development of a hostile work environment through its own failure to enforce effective workplace policies and procedures against discrimination. You do not have to remain quiet, and you have the right to speak out without fear of retaliation, termination or continued mistreatment.
Older employees have rights
Your age has no bearing on your rights as an employee. If you are experiencing any type of age discrimination, you will find it helpful to document everything that happens to you. Pursuing a legal claim against your employer can be a complex process, and this evidence can play an important role in the outcome of your case. While you may feel intimidated, overwhelmed and unsure of what to do next, you do not have to suffer unfair treatment alone or in silence, and you should consider discussing your options with an attorney.