Proving age discrimination can be extremely difficult depending on the case. It is not enough to suspect that age discrimination has occurred or to feel that you have been treated unfairly on the basis of your age. Building a solid case for age discrimination is extremely complicated, because an employer can often state that an unrelated quality resulted in the decision being questioned. Winning a case involving this type of discrimination is extremely difficult, so an experienced attorney should be consulted in order to prove that age discrimination occurred.
The first step when attempting to prove that this type of discrimination has occurred is to understand what constitutes age discrimination. Discrimination on the basis of age is very difficult if not impossible to prove if a person is passed over for being too young, as age and experience are often considered interchangeable. If a company falls into certain categories, then the company may not need to follow guidelines on age discrimination at all, so even if discrimination has occurred it cannot be prosecuted.
It is important to make sure that your claim is airtight, as companies will try every tactic to get out of compensating a person who makes a discrimination charge. For example, it is essential to make sure that there are no other possible reasons that you might have been passed over. Of even more importance is making sure that the person who received the favorable decision is a younger person. If possible, collecting evidence that this type of discrimination has happened before is extremely helpful when trying to demonstrate that the company has a tendency toward discrimination.
One easy way to find concrete evidence about discrimination is to look at hiring notices. In most cases, an employer cannot note an age preference in any advertisement about the job. Requirements that could not possibly be filled by an older employee might be noted, but they cannot be stated in terms of age.
While decisions that result in material gain, such as hiring or promotion, are possibly the most important age discrimination problems that might occur in a workplace, other problems relating to age may also arise. For example, distribution of benefits may unfairly favor younger workers, or harassment based on age may occur. Whenever there is any question of unfair treatment, the most important thing to remember is that gathering concrete evidence can make or break a case. Keeping hard evidence like emails and notes that cannot be denied can help get a favorable outcome for a discrimination case.