Exclusively Employment Law

Five Signs of Age Discrimination in the Workplace

by | Aug 6, 2018 | Discrimination

Originally Published on August 6, 2018; Updated/Revised on December 2, 2019

Unfortunately, age discrimination is prevalent in the United States for a number of reasons, including employers’ desire to avoid paying higher salaries or higher health insurance premiums.

Below are five signs that you may be the victim of age discrimination in the workplace:

No. 1: Your Department Is “Younger” Now. In general, the age make-up of your department is changing. The older employees are resigning or being terminated, and the new hires tend to be younger employees.

No. 2: You Are Being Singled Out. After years of positive performance reviews, you are suddenly being criticized about things that were never an issue before. You have more or less been performing the same or similar job duties for years for the same employer, but now you are told that your work is not good enough.

No. 3: Inappropriate Comments and Jokes. You would think that your managers and co-workers would have the good sense to refrain from saying anything that is discriminatory – but think again. Age discriminatory comments and “jokes” in the workplace are more common than you would expect: e.g., comments that older employees are “slow” or “lack energy” or are not “technologically savvy.” If you are told at work that you are not a good “cultural fit” – and coincidentally, the “culture” consists of employees who are mostly younger than you – “bad cultural fit” may simply be a veiled way of saying that your supervisors and/or coworkers believe that you are “too old” for your workplace.

No. 4: “Demotion.” You have the same job title as before, but you feel like you have been “demoted” in the sense that you are no longer being assigned challenging work or projects; you are excluded from meetings (that you were allowed to attend in the past); and you are left out of important decisions.

No. 5: Position Elimination. Your employer informs you that your position (e.g., Marketing Manager) is being eliminated and that you therefore need to leave the company within thirty days. After leaving the company, you learn through the grapevine that your employer did indeed “eliminate” the position of Marketing Manager from the company roster. But you also learn that your employer hired a younger employee to fill the new position of Marketing Operations Manager. The job description for this new position is very similar to that of your old position.

Click here to read about an AARP study regarding age discrimination; click here and here to read about the challenges facing job applicants who are over 50 years old; and click here to read about age discrimination in nursing.


If you believe that you have been subjected to age discrimination at work, call 916-612-0326 or email ([email protected]) Finley Employment Law today. We serve clients throughout California, including Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, Granite Bay, and Elk Grove.

The information in this blog post is for general informational and advertising purposes only and is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. Instead, you should speak with a California employment attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.