A recent LiveCareer study reports that age discrimination is still widespread in the workplace despite diversity efforts and equal opportunity rights. Under the Equal Opportunity Act, all workers have the guaranteed right against discrimination based on race, ethnicity, disability, national origin, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. Age is frequently not included in many workplace policies.
The American workforce is getting older and retaining jobs longer. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the average age of a worker in the United States increased from 39.3 to 42.8 between the years of 2000 and 2020.
The United States is not alone. The Paris-based Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, a group of international economists representing over 38 countries, predicts that more than 40 percent of the workforce will be older than age 50 by 2050. The current trend of older people remaining employed longer and younger people starting careers at older ages only further bolsters this prediction.
Despite the increased age of the workforce, however, age discrimination continues to exist. The LiveCareer study participants revealed that they have experienced age stereotyping, such as being considered old, at some point during their career. The responses clearly indicate much of the stereotyping is based on each individual’s perception of old.
Out of those surveyed, 43 percent considered people over age 40 as old, 26 percent considered over age 50 as old, and 21 percent considered those over age 60 as old. Additionally, the study revealed some alarming statistics regarding age in the workplace, including:
- Seventy-four percent of those aged 50 and older report being fired due to their age.
- Eighty-six percent of those aged 50 and older report feeling that employment postings were geared toward younger people.
- Seventy-two percent report that older coworkers were more frequently targeted in workplace bullying.
- Seventy-seven percent report that they were not offered jobs due to their age despite being qualified.
- Sixty-nine percent worry about losing their job due to age.
Older workers often struggle to find employment as well, despite having more experience and maturity than younger candidates, according to the AARP.
What Are Some Examples of Age Discrimination in the Workplace?
Congress passed the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) in 1967, which dictates that employers cannot discriminate employees based on age, including hiring, job duties, promotions, or firing. However, stereotypes and each individual’s perception of age make recognizing age discrimination more difficult to identify and prove. Some examples of workplace age discrimination include:
- More challenging assignments being offered to younger employees.
- Being excluded from meetings or activities.
- Career advancement training and other learning opportunities offered to younger employees.
- Not receiving raises or promotions if individual work performance is equal among candidates.
- Decisions or assumptions that employees with adult age children are no longer entitled to time off for family commitments.
- Offensive, derogatory, or disparaging remarks about age.
- Bullying, including being pushed to retire.
Identifying age discrimination can be difficult due to its frequent subtleness, such as an employer eliminating older employees over time. These types of maneuvers are not often seen as age discrimination at the time they are occurring, making them more difficult to prove.
South Jersey Employment Lawyer at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC Advocates for Clients Experiencing Workplace Age Discrimination
Despite laws and protections against age discrimination, it still continues to exist, affecting thousands of older workers. If you have been discriminated against at work due to your age, our experienced South Jersey employment lawyer at The Law Offices of Leo B. Dubler, III, LLC can help. Call us at 856-235-7075 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Atlantic City and Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Cherry Hill, Burlington County, and Camden County.