What to Do When You’re Facing Age Discrimination in the Workplace

Did you know that in 2023, more than 40% of workers over the age of 40 say they have experienced age discrimination in the last three years since the COVID-19 pandemic? When you notice subtle changes in how you’re being treated at work, it might be more than just a coincidence. Feeling uncertain about whether age discrimination is at play can be disturbing.

In the workplace, unfair treatment or inequality can occur when individuals or groups are subjected to discrimination based on certain characteristics. These characteristics that are protected include race, ethnicity, gender identity, age, disability, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or national origin. Instances of discrimination can occur in the workplace, involving coworkers, job applicants, or employees and their employers. Whether intentional or unintentional, discrimination, regardless of intent, is against the law.

Los Angeles age discrimination lawyer Omid Nosrati defines age discrimination as when a person of a particular age group is treated unfavorably compared to people of a different age group for reasons that have nothing to do with their qualifications or abilities. Therefore, a person’s age should not be the reference for discriminatory practices.

What steps can you take to address such a situation and safeguard your rights in the workplace? Let’s explore a strategic approach to handling age discrimination professionally and effectively. Your career and well-being deserve attention when faced with such challenges.

Recognize Signs of Age Discrimination

If you notice sudden changes in how you’re treated at work based on your age, you may be experiencing signs of age discrimination. This could manifest in various ways, such as being passed over for promotions in favor of younger colleagues, receiving fewer work opportunities, or being excluded from important meetings and projects. Pay attention to any comments or jokes made about your age that seem derogatory or belittling.

If you also find yourself consistently receiving negative performance reviews without valid reasons or if your workload is suddenly reduced without explanation, these could also be indicators of age discrimination.

Another sign to look out for is being isolated or marginalized in the workplace, where your opinions and contributions are consistently dismissed or ignored. If you notice a pattern of being treated differently from your younger coworkers in terms of training opportunities, assignments, or even social interactions, it’s essential to recognize these behaviors as potential red flags for age discrimination.

Document Incidents and Gather Evidence

When faced with signs of age discrimination in the workplace, your next step is to diligently document incidents and gather concrete evidence to support your case. Keep a detailed record of any discriminatory actions or comments made towards you due to your age. Note down dates, times, individuals involved, and specifics of the incidents. If possible, gather any supporting evidence, such as emails, performance evaluations, or memos, that may indicate discriminatory behavior.

Reach out as well to colleagues who may have witnessed the discrimination or have relevant information. Document their testimonies or ask them to provide written statements to strengthen your case. You need to keep this information secure and confidential.

Photographs, screenshots, or any physical evidence that can corroborate your claims should also be collected. The more evidence you have to support your case, the stronger your position will be when addressing the age discrimination issue. You’re taking proactive steps to defend your rights in the workplace by documenting incidents and gathering evidence.

Seek Support From HR or Management

Consider approaching HR or management to seek support in addressing the age discrimination you’re experiencing in the workplace. When discussing your concerns with HR or management, be clear and specific about the incidents you have encountered. Provide any documentation or evidence you have gathered to support your claims. By bringing the issue to their attention, you give them the opportunity to investigate and address the discrimination.

HR departments are typically trained to handle workplace issues sensitively and confidentially. They may be able to provide guidance on how to navigate the situation and support you through the process. Management, on the other hand, has the authority to implement changes or interventions to address the discrimination effectively.

It is important to keep communication lines open with HR or management throughout the process. Regularly follow up on any actions taken and ensure that your concerns are being addressed appropriately. Seeking support from HR or management can be a crucial step in resolving age discrimination in the workplace.

Consider Legal Options and Resources

Explore legal options and resources to address age discrimination in the workplace effectively. If you believe you’re a victim of age discrimination, it’s important to understand the laws and regulations that protect employees from such mistreatment.

Consult with an employment lawyer specializing in discrimination cases to discuss the specifics of your situation. They can provide guidance on the best course of action to take, whether it involves filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or pursuing a lawsuit.

There are resources available to assist individuals facing age discrimination. Organizations like AARP and the American Society on Aging offer support, information, and advocacy for older workers experiencing discrimination in the workplace. These resources can provide valuable insights into your rights, help you navigate the legal process, and offer emotional support during challenging times.

Focus on Self-Care and Well-Being

To cope with the challenges of age discrimination in the workplace, prioritize your self-care and well-being to maintain resilience and emotional health. It’s necessary that you set aside time for activities that rejuvenate your mind and body.

Engage in regular exercise to reduce stress and boost your mood. Whether it’s going for a walk, practicing yoga, or hitting the gym, physical activity can help release tension and improve your overall well-being. Ensure you’re getting enough restful sleep each night. Adequate sleep is essential for cognitive function and emotional stability.

Incorporate mindfulness practices into your daily routine to center yourself and manage any negative emotions that may arise from facing discrimination. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, or simply taking moments throughout the day to pause and reflect can all contribute to a greater sense of calm and clarity.


Age discrimination in the workplace is illegal and shouldn’t be tolerated. By recognizing the signs, documenting incidents, seeking support, considering legal options, and focusing on self-care, you can take proactive steps to address this issue. Speak up and seek help if you’re experiencing discrimination based on your age. Your well-being and rights in the workplace are important, and you deserve to be treated with respect and fairness.