A recent study by AARP, Inc. (formerly the American Association of Retired Persons) revealed that American seniors face ageism in the employment sector. The organization’s poll of employees found that one-third reported that they or someone they know has experienced age discrimination in the last four years.
Other key findings included:
- Sixty-four percent of respondents think that people over age 50 face age discrimination in the workplace.
- Of that 64 percent, 92 percent say ageism is very or somewhat common.
- Also, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission more than 20,000 age discrimination reports are filed every year. So what is the law, and what can you do to make sure you have a fair opportunity?
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 protects workers 40 and older from personnel decisions based solely on age in hiring, firing, layoffs, promotions or demotions. The act applies to employers with at least 20 workers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports more than 20 percent of workers in the United States, some 33 million, are ages 55 and up. That statistics underscores the importance of regulations like those found in the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.
How to Get Help
There are resources at your disposal if you need help making an age discrimination claim. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (800-669-4000) can provide detailed information on age discrimination laws in your area. The National Employment Lawyers Association offers a lawyer-search function for discrimination cases to help you find a professional near you.
Be honest and open with your employer if you feel discriminated against. With several layers of management, there may be discrimination happening that the company would not condone. Take your case to the right people to make sure your voice is heard.