The Persistence of Age Discrimination

Jun 25 2018

George Burns said it well. “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.” That quote may ring true for many of Connecticut’s more mature employees. Your life doesn’t have to be about your age, and neither does your work. Unfortunately, not all employers and not all managers seem to feel the same way. Many of Connecticut’s older workers find that, no matter how much or how hard they work, they are still subjected to age discrimination on the job.

No doubt you already have some idea about what constitutes age discrimination. Firing or laying an employee off because of her age; selecting an employee for a reduction in force (or RIF) because of her age; demoting or failing to promote an employee because of her age; or not giving an employee the opportunity to succeed because of her age — all of these are forms of age discrimination.  And all of them are illegal, under both federal and Connecticut law.

Some types of age discrimination are so common that they are almost trite.

Age discrimination, for example, is startlingly common in hiring. And unfortunately, there is very little you can do about as a job applicant. You can try to mask your age on your resume. You can remove the years you graduated from college or a master’s program, and you can only provide the last 15 or 20 years of your job history. But unless you have a very common name, even a computer illiterate employer can probably find your date of birth on Google. And there are certain categories of jobs — especially executive jobs and jobs requiring physical labor — that are very difficult to get over the age of 60.

A fact pattern that we regularly see at Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C. is long-time employees who face harassment on the basis of their age. This can involve subtle discrimination, such as not being chosen for the most interesting projects or not receiving the support you need to succeed. Or it can involve less subtle harassment, such as being told that you should “think about retirement” or “sign up for Medicare” or are “over the hill” or need to make way for “young blood.” Often, it involves the promotion of a younger supervisor who does not recognize the decades of contributions you have made during your career. If the decades of experience that you always thought were an asset have recently become a liability, you might be facing age discrimination.

Contact Us

The seasoned labor and employment lawyers at Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, P.C. have decades of experience fighting for the rights of Connecticut’s older employees. We regularly represent workers who believe their careers have been cut short by age discrimination, and we have resolved multiple age discrimination claims for more than $1 million. If you think you are a victim of age discrimination in employment, we are here to help. Contact us to learn how we can assist you.

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