Asking Eric: What will happen when my boss thinks I’m too old?

Dear Eric: I am a 50-year-old technology worker. My boss is in her early 40s.

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She has made comments that are not my business about coworkers in their 60s who she says “should retire.” Needless to say, I’m not too far behind those folks in age.

I get Botox and filler, color my hair, diet and exercise and keep up on all the latest technology. However, like everyone who isn’t a vampire, I’m aging.

I’ve had some health issues and I will need to work until at least 65 to pay for my health insurance and medications. The earliest I could even receive Social Security is still 12 years away!

I feel very anxious about losing my job because I’m too “old.” Widespread ageism is common in the tech industry where youth is highly celebrated; it’s not just my boss.

Is there a gentle way to remind people that age is not a topic that should come up in the workplace unless it is specifically related to succession or retirement planning? Do I just let it go?

– No More Age Talk

Dear Age: You don’t have to let it go! What you’re experiencing isn’t fair and may cross a legal line.

I reached out to human resources expert Hannah Marks, a people and talent adviser at Culture Marks, for guidance.

“As a first step for any employees experiencing ageism in the workplace,” she said, “it is key to maintain documentation of any/all instances. From there, it’s always a good idea to flag the situation to your HR team. If the company is too small and doesn’t yet have an HR team (often the case in tech), bringing this up to a manager or senior leader is another good option. In more severe cases, or when HR/senior leadership has failed to appropriately address the situation, employees have the right to seek legal counsel.”

You do have resources, even if the culture of your workplace suggests otherwise. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act specifically forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older.

If you want to learn more about the law and your options …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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