Despite the fact that it is illegal to discriminate against people at or over the age of 40 on the basis of age, some California workers may feel that they are facing age discrimination. However, there are steps people can take to remain valuable to their employer.
Remaining current about what is happening in one’s field is crucial, but people should also stay updated on new technology. Employees today are expected to know a program like Microsoft Word, but it is also important to stay updated on other software that is important in a person’s industry.
Even better is to be seen as an expert in that field. People can position themselves as thought leaders through actions such as writing a journal article or blog or answering questions on LinkedIn. Taking a community leadership position and networking are also important. One way to keep up with contacts for networking is with a calendar or spreadsheet. This can provide reminders to periodically get in touch with people and not just when something is needed.
Older workers should keep in mind that their experience is a plus. A company may be able to pay new hires less, but it also may cycle through more unsatisfactory people before landing on someone as competent as someone with long experience in the field.
People who do feel they have faced age discrimination or discrimination for other reasons such as race, disability or national origin may wish to discuss the situation with an attorney. While the first step when a person has been discriminated against or harassed, a legal consultation may give the employee tips on how to present the situation to the employer as well as guidelines on whether they are protected from retaliation if they complain about the harassment.