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What does age discrimination look like in the workplace?

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2023 | Employment |

Despite the protections in place for prevention, age discrimination persists in today’s work environments. The subtlety of some discriminatory actions can leave many workers uncertain about what they perceive.

Age discrimination manifests in various forms.

Stereotyping and bias

Some workers perceive older employees as technologically challenged. In contrast, they might see younger workers as inexperienced and immature. These preconceived notions can contribute to biased treatment in hiring, promotions and assignments.

Denied opportunities

Older employees may not receive the same career advancement and skill development opportunities. Companies may invest more to further career education for younger workers.


Comments about an employee’s age, jokes, or teasing can make the work environment uncomfortable. These microaggressions can affect an individual’s job satisfaction and overall mental health.

Unequal pay

Older workers may receive less pay than their younger peers for the same job. These disparities indicate age-related bias in compensation practices.


Age discrimination leaves older employees feeling marginalized or excluded from decision-making processes. Organizations may undervalue their insights and experiences. This prevents them from contributing fully to their organization’s success.

Invisible barriers

Sometimes, age discrimination is less obvious, such as when older employees are subtly pushed out of the workforce through reassignments, layoffs, or downsizing. Employers may not explicitly mention age as a factor, making it challenging to prove discrimination.

According to an AARP survey in 2021, 78% of adults aged 40 to 65 report witnessing or experiencing age discrimination in the workplace. The sooner you recognize the signs of potential discrimination, the easier it is to advocate for yourself.

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