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Am I Being Targeted For Layoff Due To My Age?

Here are four signals that could mean you're a victim of age discrimination

By Donna Ballman and AOL Jobs


How can you tell if you were selected due to your age? Four factors to consider:

  • Comments: If your boss makes comments about age, that's direct evidence of age discrimination. Referring to older employees as “geezer,” “old man” or “pops” may indicate age discrimination. It can be more subtle. Saying the company wants a “young image,” asking questions about your energy level or saying you may not be able to keep up with the new changes can all be evidence of age discrimination.
  • Different treatment: If you are selected as one of the employees to be laid off but younger, less-qualified employees are kept on, that is also evidence of age discrimination. Let's say the position requires a certification. You have it, but the younger employee is working to get it. You're more qualified. Seniority can also be a measure of your qualifications. If you've been in the position for 20 years with all good reviews and the younger employee has only held the job for a year, that's a good indication that age discrimination is occurring.
  • Different options: If you are told you have to take the severance, where younger employees are given the option of stepping down to a lower-paying position, then that could also be age discrimination.
  • Disparate discipline: Since the company is looking at disciplinary history, if you are suddenly targeted for discipline for picky things that younger employees also do and aren't disciplined for, that is another sign that you are being targeted due to age.


If you think you're being targeted due to your age, talk to an employment lawyer in your state. Sometimes age discrimination can give you leverage to negotiate a better severance package.


Donna Ballman is a author, employment lawyer and AOL Jobs contributor. Her books include Stand Up For Yourself Without Getting Fired: Resolve Workplace Crises Before You Quit, Get Axed or Sue the Bastards and The Writer’s Guide to the Courtroom: Let’s Quill All the Lawyers. She also writes the award-winning blog on employee-side, employment law issues, Screw You Guys, I’m Going Home.

Donna Ballman is an employment lawyer in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and the author of Stand Up For Yourself Without Getting Fired. She has written for AOL Jobs and Follow her on Twitter @EmployeeAtty. Read More
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