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Age discrimination and older workers

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2016 | Workplace Discrimination |

Despite the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, older people in Maryland and throughout the country may face age discrimination when they are looking for work. While the August 2016 unemployment rate for workers over the age of 55 looks low at 3.5 percent, it rises to 8.7 percent when people who have stopped seeking work and those who want full-time work but are only working part time are included. Including workers who stopped looking for a job after mroe than 4 weeks pushes the total up to 12 percent, according to New School researchers.

An AARP study found that about 66 percent of older workers believe they face discrimination in the workplace, and some studies have backed this up. Researchers at Tulane University and the University of California found that the callback rate for workers between the ages of 49 to 51 in administrative work was 29 percent lower than that of younger workers. For workers older than 64, it was 47 percent lower.

Older women and white men with a high school education or less may suffer the most age discrimination. The long-term unemployment rate for women over 55 is higher than for men. However, job tenure rose for all groups between 2012 and 2014 except white men 55 or older who have less education. It went down from 17.7 years to 16.7 years.

Older workers who feel that they are facing discrimination in the workplace because of their age might want to consult an attorney. While the first step might be to try to address it with a supervisor or human resources, speaking with an attorney may give an employee a better sense of the recourse that may be available. The discrimination may take many forms such as being denied a promotion or terminated. To demonstrate that the action taken was due to discrimination and not job performance, a person should document the discrimination as thoroughly as possible.