Given that the federal government establishes discrimination laws and is responsible for enforcing them, people assume that government employees don’t face discrimination in the workplace. However, government employees are human and subject to the same biases and bad behaviors as those who work in private industries.
Federal employees could face discrimination for all kinds of issues, ranging from their race to a disability. One of the most common and subtle forms of employment discrimination is age discrimination. When might federal employees find themselves dealing with unfair age discrimination?
Anyone over the age of 40 could face age discrimination at work
According to federal discrimination laws, older employees have protection from discrimination based on their age. Workers who are younger do not have the same rights, often because decisions made against them are not inherently discriminatory but rather based on experience and work background.
Workers over the age of 40 who have years of experience and the necessary education to do a job may find that their employers don’t treat them the same as younger workers. What are some of the ways that age discrimination occurs on the job?
Employers might sideline or even fire workers who reach a certain age
With experience comes skill and proficiency. Decades on the job might mean that you have insight and skills that new hires fresh out of college simply can’t offer. Unfortunately, you might have to deal with a manager who doesn’t see the value in your lived experience.
Sometimes, age discrimination looks like career stagnation. Despite the fact that you do your job well and have been with the company for years, you find that younger, less-experienced and possibly less-skilled workers get promoted ahead of you. Other times, age discrimination looks like unfair termination. If there’s a decision to downsize, higher paid, older workers could get let go and replaced with younger, cheaper labor.
It can also be harder for older employees to find jobs. Age discrimination might look like losing a position you are perfectly qualified for once you show up for an interview and they see how old you are.
If you have endured age discrimination as a federal employee, you may have grounds to take legal action and either get your job back or demand compensation for the effect of that discrimination on your life.