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Understanding age discrimination in the workforce

Age discrimination in the workplace can have a negative effect on Americans seeking employment; however, despite some advancements in opening greater opportunities, the problem of discrimination against “older” workers still exists. The American Association of Retired Persons notes that almost one in four older workers experienced some form of ageism in 2018, whether it during the hiring or employment phase.

Americans 40 years of age and older who experience this kind of discrimination have several options when it comes to a response, and understanding the laws and options may help them receive fair treatment.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act

Understanding the Age Discrimination in Employment Act may help working Americans realize their rights, both during the hiring process and once they find a job. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, this Act, founded in 1967, forbids employers from firing employees because of their age, and does not allow them to withhold employment from qualified individuals based on their age. Employers may also not reduce an employee’s wage based solely on age.

A growing issue

More than three-quarters of Americans over the age of forty fear that age discrimination is a very real obstacle when searching for a job, and some find limited job opportunities for their age group. Despite age discrimination laws, this issue still exists.  This type of discriminationt can affect a number of areas in the lives of Americans who desire to continue working or to re-enter the workforce, from their finances to their physical and emotional health.

Ageism and age discrimination in the workplace can take on many forms.   Being aware of your rights could assist you in fighting back if you are ever targeted with this form of discrimination in your current or potential future workplace.


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