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Age Discrimination in The Workplace Exist For Employees Who Have Aged Beyond 40+

Updated on May 16, 2016

Age Discrimination In The Workplace

Why is there age discrimination in the workplace when we have laws to prevent it? A lot of Americans; both male and female would love to know the same thing. This has been the conversation for many years now among those that have actually been a part of the process and had to leave their job; for one reason or another. This level of discrimination by companies has increased not decreased per the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

If you are 40 or older; be prepared and watch your step. Many individuals who have been interviewed after losing their job have voiced that yes; they were let go, fired, offered severance pay and I am sure other excuses, and it was because of age. Some of these people were no older than 50 years of age.

This author experience an interview with an employment agency, and the interviewer "acknowledged" that employers were looking to hire applicants 40 and below. She did not shrink, stutter, or have any problem voicing this issue. At the time I merely swallowed and said nothing. If this were to happen to me today; she would get an ear full.

Now, that is one of many discriminatory actions and needs to be stopped.

Go Figure This One Out


How Companies Disguises Firing Employees

Some individuals, and researchers have indicated that in fact firings or suggestions to retire with severance pay; were exactly the same for each individual throughout the company. This occurred when more than one employee was terminated. They asked the oldest person in each department, with the most years of employment, and the higher salary to retire. These individuals have a law suit as it is evidence of a pattern and not just one individual.

Most companies know how to disguise their efforts to let someone go and they think they have it all figured out to prevent a law suit. Offering severance, and if they did not want to offer severance pay; they are making new policies and procedures to make the job harder for the individuals to perform. Once the non-performance kicks in; out the door, ‘you’re fired,’ as Donald Trump would say.

It has also become a habit for the younger employees to criticize or correct the process of how the older employee is doing something which they have done for years, and had no complaints about previously. Of course there are no ethics from anyone when a company desires to cut higher insurance premiums, life insurance plans, and other benefits which increase with age. Management know the people who will help them (get rid of the older employees), and who will not.

Sad but true.

The Discrimination Laws

The ECOA laws were made to protect a person in a job interview, or one who has already been hired. Any company must live by these rules and regulations that are established by law, and are not to discriminate. It is totally against the law to discriminate against age, sex, race/color, disability, genetic information, religion. Does this happen within our present day; you bet it does and is there a way to stop it?

The inaction of The Age Discrimination in Employment (ADEA) 1967, specifically state and forbids discrimination in the workplace for anyone 40 and over.

This means that even those who are in their 40’s should watch their step and make sure their performances are up to par. Also watching their dress code, personal conversations and how their emotional intelligence.

They should also start making notes as to discrepancies in management. Sounds a little like working a conspiracy; doesn't it? We have all seen it happen at some point in our career. In fact it is too familiar and makes my skin crawl and I want to (have a riot)(may as well, for all people who have experienced losing a good job to discrimination.

Have you ever experienced age discrimination in the workplace?

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When Seeking Employment

For individuals seeking a job it is important that one understands the laws of the land. The benefit of knowing these laws does not appear to make a difference unless, of course, you are willing to file a lawsuit for whatever the discrimination is. Most individuals do not do this as it seems to be such a hassle and then you must find an attorney who will assist you. The latter is not always and easy task.

If you have interviewed more than once in your life you know that having qualifications is paramount over anything else; or should be. If your qualifications are weak, then you know upfront that your chances of getting the job; is weak also.

The economy within the world; not just the United States has put the job markets in a fragile position. Employers are searching for the most qualified employee they can find. It is true now that major corporations and companies are not only looking for technical skills; they are also looking for those individuals who have emotional intelligence. How you deal with life emotionally (in the workforce) is as important as how skilled you are, and how well you can perform the job criteria. Most interviews now have certain test or questions that test your emotional status within certain workplace situations.

Depending upon the job description; you know what those qualifications are before you go. If you have that down; then it should be a piece of cake; right? Not true and there is proof.

The Rejection


A True Example of an Act of Discrimination

A lady who had many years of experience in a certain field went for an interview several years ago, her credentials were significant. In fact the experience was over and above the job description. It wasn’t about emotional intelligence or lack of any skill. In fact it did not take very long into the interview to know that the interviewer was not interested in the client.

How did this individual know that the interview broke down? The interviewer was distracted; he was giving out very little information, in fact hardly any information. Then he wanted to know if there were any further questions. There was, but he was still fidgety and inattentive. He in fact seemed anxious for the interview to be over; kind of looked over his desk at the little book the prospective applicant had; appearing to wonder when the questions would stop.

So what was the issue with this client who has more qualifications than needed for the job? The client was over 55 years old. This interviewer even took a second look at the client when he saw her. She was escorted out, and never heard back from the company. The personnel department set up the interview; and then never called the lady to say she did not get the job. No curtesy whatsoever, and of course they were trying to make sure; no law suit for discrimination.

This was definitely job discrimination because of age, but if she went to an attorney they would probably tell her that it is hard to work with discrimination cases. The proof is very hard to manage.


The Bureau of Labor Gives These Statistics

According to the AARP- 1 in 5 employees in the USA which are 55 years of age and older offer these statistics:

  • 64% either saw or had age discrimination in the workplace.
  • 58% concluded that the age discrimination began with employees in their 50s.
  • Actual discrimination law claims has been on the rise to 21,400 (+-) for 2013.

The above figure for 2013 may not seem huge for the population of our country. The fact is; there are only a few people who will hire an attorney and go through the process of suing the company. If offered a severance package; they accept and sign a disclosure not to hold the company liable. Most need the funds to pay bills until they obtain another job and do not want to use their retirement savings.

Job Wanted


When Going For a Job Interview

Here are some suggestions for individuals over 50 years of age who are seeking employment and going for an interview:

  • Dress for the occasion.
  • Make sure you have studied the company’s history details online and know how they operate.
  • Have your resume’ detail your experience that matches the requirements of the job posting.
  • If you have never been in the particular position or done this kind of work; you do NOT pretend that you do. Total honesty is required.
  • If your experience is weak; simply ask if they have a training period, and clearly tell then that you learn rather quickly and elaborate on your experience that is similar.
  • Sell yourself, but humbly.
  • Do not let them see your frustration if things are not going well.
  • Have questions about the particular position that has not been addressed.

Side Note

What Hillary Clinton or any other candidate should be running wild with.....

With all things economy; Hillary Clinton should be out promoting older aged workers and the discrimination laws.

This is a definite defeat for many middle aged and older individual in America who cannot retire for any reason. With the downside in the economy which has been deteriorating for 8 (+-) years; many people have lost their good jobs to downsizing, layoffs, and even dismissal. They are unable to find a job comparable to the previous job and salary. This has caused people to lose their homes to foreclosure and bankruptcy while having no other alternative.


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    • lctodd1947 profile image

      lctodd1947 2 years ago from USA

      Well I see your position is kind of like mine. They do discriminate, you are right and if an evil boss decides to get rid of you; he will and home office will not do one thing about it. I have seen it happen and in fact I was Operations Manager in a large Bank; and my superior wanted me to get rid of some of the employees. I refused to do it as the particular employee was performing their job. He then turned on me. There are people that will be untruthful and deceiving. I did not get rid of anyone and would not stoop to his level. No ethics, or character in so many situations. You are right, life is unfair in so many situations.

      Thank you for your contribution and stopping by to read and comment.


    • Gordon Wright profile image

      Gordon Wright 2 years ago

      Sadly, the worst age discrimination is in high tech R&D. Knowing computers won't help you a bit.

      I'm not sure that anti-discrimination laws really work all that well. People will discriminate. It's human nature. People will find a way around the laws.

      Life is unfair and always will be. I have no faith left that regulation can help.

    • lctodd1947 profile image

      lctodd1947 2 years ago from USA

      Thank you Hrymel for your contribution. You are right about technology. It will not go away, and most older workers have had to updated their skills to be capable of performing their jobs. Programming no, most have not gotten the education to learn this job, but if they went to night school; you are right they could prepare themselves for something technical.

      For some middle-aged individual (who have longer to work) this is definitely a great idea. I doubt those in their 60+ years would go back to school, but who knows??? They might.

      Thank you so much for coming by to read and comment.

    • hrymel profile image

      Haley 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      The best advice I could offer someone afraid of age discrimination, is to pay attention to technology, embrace it, and learn to utilize it. Computers aren't a fad, they're here to stay.

      You may a plethora of experience, and be great at your job, but if you have to constantly have help to use your e-mail, or basic programs to make reports, then you are negatively affecting the work flow.

      If you are awesome at computers, Instagram like a pro, and can even do some programming (don't be afraid of it, there are plenty of free websites available) then make sure you highlight it on your resume and in your interview. Even if the job has nothing directly to do with programming, it's a way to signal that you are flexible and that you aren't afraid of technology.

      That being said, those who dismiss people simply because of their age are dumb. There is experience there, and it brings in diversity to the workplace.