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According to a recent study by AARP, more than half of workers older than 50 reported having lost their jobs involuntarily. While some unscrupulous employers may try to force out older employees to avoid paying retirement packages, others want to make honest changes to their business but go about it the wrong way.

It is illegal for employers to discriminate against you based on your age. If you suspect that your age or proximity to retirement contributed to the termination of your employment, you may be the victim of workplace discrimination.

How do employers discriminate against older employees?

Not all discrimination is intentional, but it is still illegal. It could take place at any point in the employment process, especially during termination. When older employees are laid off, it upends delicate financial planning for retirement and long-term health needs.

Discrimination against employees older than 50 typically includes the following;

  • Persistent teasing or nicknames related to your age.
  • Undue strictness in your performance.
  • Persistent and unwelcome questions about retirement.
  • Denying you a promotion based on your proximity to retirement.
  • Laying off older workers to promote a “fresher” business image.

study published by The Urban Institute and Pro Publica found that half of full-time workers 51-54 years old experienced unintentional unemployment that substantially contributed to financial hardship or long-term unemployment.

Employers might also target new, young employees and forget to consider their older workers. Are there training programs for new technologies? Does the talent acquisition department target only young adults? Do they offer elder care benefits or only child care? Answers to these questions may help you identify a workplace that is hostile towards older workers.

If you feel pressured to retire early or were forced to do so, you may be the victim of age discrimination. You may want to explore your legal options for financial compensation.