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  • Writer's pictureS. Anne Marie Archer

How employers are skirting the ADEA to discriminate against younger employees

Updated: Apr 3

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is important to consult with legal professionals for guidance on specific legal matters.

Results on engagements and online courses may vary, successful outcome is not guaranteed.

As the AntiHR HR Lady, it's my mission to shine a spotlight on workplace injustices and empower employees to fight back against discrimination. Today, I want to tackle a troubling trend: employers skirting the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) to target younger workers.


It's important to note that discrimination against any employee, regardless of age, is wrong. If you're experiencing discrimination and you're over 40, take the same steps shared in this blog post to document and defend yourself. However, it's crucial to recognize that employees under 40 may have less protection against this type of discrimination, depending on where they live.


What is the ADEA and why does it exist?

The ADEA was enacted to protect workers aged 40 and older from age-based discrimination in the workplace. However, what many don't realize is that in certain jurisdictions, age discrimination protections extend to workers of all ages, regardless of whether they've reached the milestone of 40 years old.


Here are three common tactics employers use to discriminate against younger workers and how it can land them in hot water:


1. Selective Hiring and Promotion Practices

Some employers may subtly favor older candidates or employees for hiring and promotions, under the guise of "experience" or "maturity." By overlooking the qualifications and potential of younger workers, they perpetuate age-based discrimination.


2. Unfair Compensation and Benefits

Discrimination against younger employees can extend to compensation and benefits packages. Employers may offer lower salaries or fewer benefits to younger workers, assuming they have fewer financial obligations or are less deserving of fair compensation.


3. Assigning Unreasonable Workloads

Another insidious form of discrimination is assigning younger workers disproportionately heavy workloads or demanding longer hours under the assumption that they have fewer personal responsibilities. This practice not only exploits younger employees but also perpetuates harmful stereotypes about their capabilities.


Now, you might be wondering, "What can I do to protect myself in the face of age discrimination?" Here are some proactive steps you can take:


- Document Everything: Keep detailed records of any instances of age-related bias or discrimination you witness or experience in the workplace. Note dates, times, individuals involved, and specific details of the incidents. 


Grab access to the AntiHR Documentation Journal and learn to effectively document discrimination and other problematic incidents in your workplace.

Another thing you can do is,

- Make a Strategic Complaint to HR: If you encounter age discrimination, don't hesitate to bring your concerns to HR. Present your documented evidence clearly and concisely, emphasizing how the discriminatory behavior violates company policies and applicable laws. Understand that reporting to HR could result in retaliation in the form of being placed on a PIP, so be ready to document and respond if this occurs. Remember that anytime you report wrongdoing in your workplace you are deciding to leave the workplace. Have a plan to successfully do so on your terms.


It's also crucial to be aware of the states in the U.S. that protect against age discrimination for employees below the age of 40. These states include:


- California

- Colorado

- Connecticut

- District of Columbia

- Illinois

- Massachusetts

- Michigan

- Nebraska

- New Jersey

- New Mexico

- New York

- Oregon

- Vermont

- Washington


Laws may specifically bar discrimination against those below age 40 or may simply apply to employees younger than 40. Be sure to seek advice and information to ensure the law covers you before going to HR. Also, check your company policy to see if it has any Anti-Discrimination policies or statements that might help you raise or object to age discrimination if it happens to you and you are younger than 40.

If you are experiencing age discrimination in your workplace, you may be able to leverage what you're experiencing to negotiate an exit from your discriminatory hostile toxic workplace with cash in hand.


Grab access to my Master course,


The course will teach you everything you need to know about how to cash out of a discriminatory hostile work environment on your terms.


Usually Priced at only $599 – a fraction of my one-to-one engagement fee –this 2024 Spring Sale get access to the course for only $399!

This course equips you with strategies and tactics needed to identify, document, communicate, and ultimately request your exit from a discriminatory hostile work environment.

Explore the course and take the necessary steps towards reclaiming your professional narrative and countering any retaliatory acts that you may experience as a result of raising concerns about unfair age discrimination.


By staying informed, documenting potential instances of discrimination, and advocating for your rights, you can help combat age discrimination in the workplace and contribute to a more inclusive and equitable work environment for all.


For more tips about navigating and escaping difficult HR situations,

Follow me on IG and TikTok at theantihrhrlady




HR is not your enemy, but they are definitely not your friend, I am.




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