Top Seven Forms of Age Discrimination

Top Seven Forms of Age Discrimination

In 2020, the Supreme Court reaffirmed an earlier ruling which stated that age discrimination plaintiffs must show “but for” causation. That is not a requirement in other employment discrimination claims, such as gender, sexual orientation, or ethnicity. As a result, employers are even more likely to target older workers. Some of the more common methods are examined below.

There are some effective ways to stave off age discrimination during the hiring process. Some ideas include omitting dates on your resume, for things like graduation times, and limiting work history to the last 10 years. But once people over 40 begin work, their age becomes apparent, and so does their vulnerability.

If any of the following situations sound uncomfortably familiar to you, because of Babb v. Wilkie, the Equal Employment Opportunity commission is unlikely to take your case. If that happens, immediately reach out to a Chicago age discrimination lawyer. A private attorney stands up for you and not for the government.

Lost Opportunity

If there is a choice between sending a younger worker and an older worker to a conference, most employers invest in the younger employer. The same thing goes for items like reimbursement for continuing education courses.


Many older workers find that, although they have considerable experience, they are left out of high-level meetings. If you are not in the room where it happened, you might have a legitimate age discrimination claim.

Time Off Denials

Many employers assume that if workers do not have young children at home, they do not need time off to attend to family matters. Such policies, whether they are formal or informal, are discriminatory. Employers must have uniform policies for all workers. They cannot treat different people differently.

Passed Over

In other discrimination cases, if a person outside a protected class leapfrogs over for someone in a protected class, discrimination is relatively easy to prove. These situations might still be age discriminatory, but additional evidence is needed.

Age-Related Jokes

Seemingly playful nicknames or jokes about retirement plans are just as discriminatory as a supervisor’s suggestion that an older worker retires and make room for someone younger. Intent or malice is usually irrelevant in discrimination claims.

Excessive Discipline

Employers sometimes unfairly discipline targeted workers, thinking they are creating a paper trail. But if younger workers were treated differently for the same or similar infractions, these employers are just providing evidence of age discrimination.

Heavy Workload

This form of discrimination, which is related to excessive discipline, is the opposite of sidelining. Some employers give older employees so much work they cannot possibly complete it. Then, they discipline or terminate the worker for this alleged failure. Synch excuses normally do not hold up in court.

Contact a Dedicated Lawyer

Illegal age discrimination takes many forms. For a free consultation with an experienced Chicago employment discrimination lawyer, contact the Law Office of Mitchell A. Kline. Virtual, after-hours, and home visits are available.