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Signs of age discrimination in your workplace

When we think about workplace discrimination, we might consider racial, gender or sexual orientation as important factors. Would you think that age is a common criterion for discrimination? If not, you might not fully understand your Missouri employee rights. As our working population ages with the baby boomers reaching their 60s and 70s, a growing body of evidence supports the fact that older workers are not being treated equally.

In many cases, illegal workplace discrimination based on age is simply a matter of money. Businesses are looking to improve their profit margin by eliminating older workers and replacing them with younger employees who are willing to work for less. It is important for older workers to be vigilant about this type of illegal workplace discrimination, as there are distinct warning signs that can clue you in about employee rights violations.

First, it is important to note that your employer is likely to start documenting every single misstep you make. You spent five minutes too long on the Internet? You're going to get written up. The same philosophy applies for older workers who are just one minute late; they may get a written reprimand even though everyone else was 10 minutes late. The reason: Your employer wants a paper trail that can be used to justify your dismissal.

Other warning signs are fairly obvious, including maneuvers designed to decrease the number of hours you work, especially if your employer wants you to train someone - likely to take over your own job. Further, your employer might begin different types of performance reviews designed to target older workers. Not surprisingly, 24,000 age discrimination complaints were filed in 2012 alone, largely because of these scare tactics.

Individuals who think they may be victims of age discrimination should keep detailed records about their experiences at work. They may also be wise to recruit the services of a qualified employment attorney, who can help them learn more about their legal rights. Victims of age discrimination have the right to work, and their employers should not wantonly take that away from them.

Source: www.stjoechannel.com, "Age discrimination in workplace has warning signs" Alan Van Zandt, Dec. 03, 2013

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