Most federal employees have better than a working knowledge of the many protections against discrimination offered to them. But when the discrimination is related to a federal worker’s age, it can be quite nuanced and may fly right under your radar.
If you have an inkling that there may be some age discrimination afoot in your place of employment, below are some signs that you may be right.
Listen to the language used
If you are seeking employment in the federal sector and spot terms in the listing like “digital native,” “growth hackers” and even the far more innocuous-sounding “recent grads welcome” and “tech-savvy,” this can indicate that the hiring manager is looking for someone in their 20s or very early 30s.
Recruitment practices geared toward younger hires
While there is nothing inherently wrong with advertising jobs on Instagram or setting up booths at college recruitment fairs, if those are your only pipelines that solicit employees, it could be an indicator that the agency is not interested in hiring older workers.
Subtle or blatant, ageism exists
Workers in their 40s have much to bring to the federal employment table. They are seasoned and understand the impact of trends over time, rather than rushing to make a move even when it is wrong. Life and experience have ways of teaching people things that all the university textbooks in the world cannot. But the good news to take away is that no one has to accept ageism and discrimination simply because you have a few more laps around the sun under your belt than the younger hires.
Fight back legally
Take your concerns to an age discrimination attorney to learn more about how you can pursue justice through the civil court system.