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You spent decades continuing your education and developing personal experiences that make you both more expert and a well-rounded professional. Pursuing the same career path for years or even decades should mean the right to command higher pay when compared with younger people in the same field. 

Unfortunately, companies don’t always look at older workers as the benefit that they really are. Stereotypes about older adults struggling with technology, concerns about increased claims on a group medical policy and even just personal biases can influence your career trajectory once you exceed the age of 40. Since most workers know that age discrimination is illegal, companies may take steps to hide what they have done.

Your employer might start holding you to a different standard

If you have always had roughly the same job performance but suddenly your performance reviews are coming back surprisingly negative, that could be a red flag that your employer is starting to build a case to justify your termination. 

In other words, if your job performance hasn’t changed but the way your employer reviews it has, that may be a sign of discrimination. The same is true if you find yourself getting written up or reprimanded for behaviors that management ignores with other workers. 

Restructuring or downsizing can be a way to hide age discrimination

Some companies will choose to force out a large number of workers in a short amount of time. Using restructuring or downsizing as an excuse for discriminatory termination practices is all too common. If you discover that many other workers in your age demographic were let go while the company retained or even hired more younger workers, that could be a sign of systemic age discrimination.

If you suspect your career stalled out or you lost your job because of age discrimination, you may be able to bring a claim against the company that’s judging you based on your age instead of your merit.