It has been 50 years since the Age Discrimination in Employment Act was first enacted to protect workers over the age of 40 from missing out on employment opportunities and advancements solely because of their age. Unfortunately, workplace discrimination based on age is still a big part of our working world.
A recent study by an assistant professor at Tulane University showed that senior applicants, ages 64 to 67, were less likely to get calls for entry-level jobs, despite being equally as qualified as their younger counterparts. Discrimination against women starts at a younger age than men and can be more serious. Job ads tend to target employees who grew up familiar with technology and with less experience.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is well aware of the problem, with the 20,000 age discrimination complaints filed every year. The EEOC recently held a meeting to find ways to combat age discrimination and eliminate age-related stereotypes. They plan to have many more meetings to address these issues in the future.
There is also a concern with regards to the influx of technology-related positions in our society. Some researchers predict there will only be 400,000 qualified workers for the 1.4 million new technology jobs created by 2020. Older workers are generally not viewed as "tech-savvy" by employers and are discriminated against when it comes to these jobs.
Age discrimination may keep countless Rhode Island workers from achieving their career aspirations and cause them significant emotional and financial damage. Employees who have experienced age discrimination should contact an employment law attorney to discuss their legal options.
Source: The Columbian, "Experts: Age discrimination is still a thing in the workplace," Maria Ines Zamudio, June 15, 2017