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Reporting age discrimination to HR or the EEOC

A survey of older adults conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons indicated that almost 66 percent of respondents had witnessed or experienced age discrimination in the workplace. Only three percent make complaints though, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. For older workers in New York, it is important to know how to report instances of age discrimination, and what rights they have.

Older women have filed more complaints with the EEOC than men every year since 2010. As recently as 1990, men filed more than twice as many EEOC complaints as women. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that women aged 55 or older will make up an increasing proportion of the workforce going forward, while the proportion of men aged 55 and older will decline.

Before a complaint is filed, it may be a good idea to attempt to handle the situation less formally, by talking to a work colleague or the manager of the project. This can be effective in situations of misunderstanding, or just for the employee to assert themselves. The next step is generally to take the matter up internally, within the company. The applicable procedures vary widely from company to company; the HR department or employee handbook should having information about reporting discriminatory conduct.

Those who are over the age of 40 and feel they have been subjected to age discrimination in the workplace might want to speak with an attorney. An attorney with experience in employment law might be able to help by looking at the facts of the case and identifying parties who may have liability. An attorney might draft and file a charge with the EEOC or attempt to negotiate with the employer. Age discrimination might be actionable if it occurs in relation to job assignments, hiring, firing, promotions, pay, benefits, training or any other condition or term of employment.

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