A recent AARP survey suggested that two out of every three workers between ages 45 and 74 years old have either seen or personally experienced age discrimination by employers. Think about it: two out of every three. That’s a massive statistic.
Employers know that there are powerful laws against age discrimination in the workplace. And, most employers aren’t foolish enough to openly admit to their discrimination against their older employees.
So how are these employers covering up their age discrimination? They use subtle, hidden, dirty tricks that mask their true discriminatory intent.
These tricks might not seem like outright age discrimination, but they are designed to push people out of their jobs. If you have experienced any of these dirty tricks, it is a good idea to get in touch with an attorney who can help you.
Five Dirty Tricks to Watch Out For
Here are five dirty tricks that you need to look out for if you are an older worker:
- Sudden and New Pattern of Reprimands – For years you received outstanding job performance reviews but now you are clearly “on” the disciplinary radar. You can’t seem to do anything right, and you are in danger of being fired. The boss could be using progressive reprimands as a basis to justify firing you from your job.
- Cutting Your Hours – Older employees tend to have higher hourly pay rates, usually because you have been on the job for a longer time period. The employer might eliminate your hours to force you to quit because you can’t make enough money. If your hours are cut, watch to see if your hours are given to a younger employee with a lesser hourly rate.
- Early Retirement Offer – Employers often try to convince older employees to jump at early retirement offers. Make sure that you consult with a lawyer because these early retirement packages typically sacrifice long-term retirement benefits (which have greater costs for the employer) in exchange for front-loaded temporary incentives. Also, if you reject the early retirement offer, some employers turn vindictive and try to force you out.
- Eliminate Jobs and/or Lay-offs – Employers faced with higher hourly wages for older employees will often look to cut these positions first and claim that the overall financial picture of the company justified eliminating the jobs. Then the employer will replace the older worker with younger employees with lesser hourly wages.
- Restrict Job Duties and Fail to Promote – Employers minimize older employees by not promoting them, failing to include them in continuing education or advancement programs, or by removing their normal job duties. In all of these cases, younger employees receive the opportunities instead.
Each dirty trick is a different form of discrimination against older workers. If you believe that your employer is discriminating against you because of your age, or if you have a specific question about age discrimination, please contact us for immediate legal advice. We are here to help!