Age discrimination is alive and well, although it can be disguised. Often, an older worker who has been with the company for years will be earning a much higher wage than younger workers. Equally, if not more important, the benefits costs for older workers are substantially higher. Older workers are more likely to suffer from serious health issues, raising insurance costs. Even with the depth of experience an older worker has, it can be very much to the benefit of the employer to replace an older worker with one, or even two, younger employees.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
ADEA, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, was passed in 1967 to protect those aged 40 or older from workplace discrimination because of their age. This act applies equally to employees and job applicants. Age discrimination is illegal regarding hiring, firing, layoffs, promotion, benefits, wages, job duties or training. However, the ADEA does permit an employer to prefer an older employee, even if this negatively affects someone who is younger than 40.
Most Americans Believe that Age Discrimination is Widespread
An AARP survey found that a whopping77% of Americans between the ages of 45 and 54 reported that older employees were faced with discrimination based on their age. Almost one in four workers is 55 or older, so the number of people facing age discrimination is enormous. When older workers are unemployed, they are often desperate to find a job because of the need for health insurance benefit, but find it more difficult to find new employment.
Older people with jobs are often forced by economic conditions to continue working, even at new jobs paying far less than their former salaries. Older people in management often face special challenges, due to an innate bias held by many employers against older managers that may force them out of their jobs under a pretext. Younger managers may be preferred because employers believe that they are more energetic, more tech savvy, more willing to work long hours, healthier and able to remain with the company for years to come.
Anyone who believes that they have been adversely affected by age discrimination should contact an employment rights attorney in Northampton, MA. Connor, Morneau & Olin are dedicated to protecting the rights of employees and consumers. Each employment rights attorney in Northampton, MA, devotes his or her unique outlook and experience to the protection of his or her client’s rights. Visit website for more info.