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How to handle age discrimination in the workplace

On Behalf of | Jan 8, 2024 | Blog, Workplace Discrimination

SHRM reported in 2023 that 32% of employers use age as a basis to make hiring decisions. About one-third of all workers in the SHRM report said they experienced this type of discrimination. Yet only about 17% of Human Resource professionals have received reports on the issue.

Age discrimination occurs when individuals receive unfair or unfavorable treatment due to their age. Anyone experiencing such treatment should know the steps to take to stop it.

Open lines of communication

Engage in open communication with your colleagues and supervisors. Choose a time to discuss your concerns calmly and professionally. Be specific about the behaviors or comments that have made you feel discriminated against. Express how these instances impacted your work environment.

Document issues

Keep a detailed record of dates, times and descriptions of each incident. This documentation will serve as valuable evidence if you need to escalate the matter within the organization. Avoid emotional language in your records and focus on the facts to maintain a professional tone.

Gather witnesses

Seek out coworkers who may have witnessed the discriminatory behavior. Their perspectives and experiences can provide additional insights and strengthen your case. A collective effort to address age discrimination can have a more significant impact when you make a report.

Escalate the situation

You may need to escalate the matter to higher levels of management or the human resources department if initial reports do not solve the problem. Present your concerns clearly and concisely. Produce the evidence you have to back up your claims.

Addressing age discrimination usually requires a direct approach. The law is on your side, but you have to prepare to provide proof of what happened. By standing up for yourself, you also help to contribute to a workplace culture that values the diverse experiences and contributions of every employee.