Many Maryland residents have experienced age discrimination in the realm of employment. Although age discrimination is barred by federal law, this remains prevalent in many workplaces. During the recession in particular many reports surfaced of older Americans being laid off and finding it difficult to obtain employment again.
Employers often wrongly assume older workers are overqualified for positions or that they will demand higher salaries than younger workers; in other cases, employers might stereotype older workers as being difficult to train or unlikely to be proficient in new technology. Often, older job applicants never even get the chance to disprove their would-be employers in job interviews.
Age discrimination is illegal under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Under the ADEA, employers are prohibited from treating employees or applicants unfavorably because they are over the age of 40.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently sued a municipal utility for reportedly skipping over an employee for a promotion because of his age. The 57-year-old applied to be promoted to the position of computer operations specialist, but the employer decided to offer the position to a younger applicant despite the fact that the older man was more qualified, according to the lawsuit.
The EEOC is seeking backpay for the man, as well as job instatement, among other remedies.
A representative of the EEOC has stated: “Employers cannot make decisions based on discriminatory stereotypes and inaccurate assumptions based on age.”
Those here in Maryland who have experienced age discrimination as a barrier to employment may wish to talk to an employment law attorney about whether legal recourse is possible.
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “EEOC Sues Memphis Light, Gas & Water for Age Discrimination,” Feb. 28, 2014