Were you passed over for promotion because of your age?

Perhaps you have worked for a manufacturing company for two decades. The business has expanded in that time, and you are partially responsible for its success.

You feel discouraged because you have a new manager who passed you over for promotion, choosing a younger, less-experienced person for the job. Is this age discrimination?

What happened

You may be over 40, but you are in good health; you enjoy your work, and you were looking forward to upward progress. You interviewed for the new opening, a supervisory position, and thought you were the leading candidate. You felt aback when the new manager chose a twenty-something employee relatively new to the company to fill the position. Furthermore, she will become your supervisor and you feel awkward about it.

Contributions of older employees

As an employee who has been with the company for 20 years, you have an institutional memory, and, along with your skills, this is valuable to many of your co-workers. You are beginning to feel that this may not be enough to allow you to keep your current job, let alone advance to the next level. In the Congressional Statement of Findings and Purpose, part of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, Congress conceded that older workers “find themselves disadvantaged in their efforts to retain employment.” It appears age was a factor in the recent promotion; and, in fact, you have noticed the quiet replacement of older employees with their younger counterparts.

Making choices

You are beginning to wonder if you should submit your resignation and look for work elsewhere, but is this the right thing to do? Remember that age discrimination is unlawful, and the new manager may have made a mistake in promoting a younger, less experienced person. You have rights under the law, and if you wish to pursue those rights in the company you have served for many years, perhaps it is time to explore your legal options.

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