But then I ask them how old their boss is compared to them. “Well, she’s quite a bit younger than me, actually.”
Then I ask if she has any favorites? You know what comes next… “Why yes she does, and they are even younger than her.”
Finally I ask if anyone has been hired or fired from the department since this new boss took the helm. “You know one person was given a severance package and left suddenly… and he was even older than me. The boss hired one of her own friends from her old company as the replacement. Didn’t even advertise the opening.”
Age discrimination can be blatant (yelling “You’re a dinosaur!”), but it’s more often subtle.
After a career of positive annual appraisals, an employee gets her first mediocre review. The next year it’s a little bit worse. Before the next annual appraisal comes around, the employee is on a PIP — a “Performance Improvement Plan,” and fears she will be fired soon.
What can be especially hard is when the performance goals are objective, like sales goals, and the older employee is not meeting those sales goals. If they get fired, where’s the age discrimination in that?
Well, it’s all a matter of treating similarly situated employees according to the same standards. What if two older salespersons are fired, but younger people with the same sales numbers were not fired?
That’s what happened to two women who worked for a wireless phone store, and this video tells you how they fought back against age discrimination, and won.
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