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Age discrimination facts that could affect your employment

Age discrimination continues to be a concern for current and prospective workers. Despite clear laws to protect workers from age discrimination, many workers over the age of 40 still face age discrimination at work. Ageism can be frustrating because it is allowing others to judge you for something that is beyond our control.

According to AARP, people over the age of 35 claim that age discrimination is their main obstacle to finding a job. They also cite that two out of every three workers over 45 have either experienced or witnessed age discrimination while at work. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported there were 20,857 age discrimination claims filed in 2016.

Age discrimination is not always evident or easily noticeable. It can disguise itself with things like discrimination and harassment, watching a promotion go to someone less qualified, changing job assignments, losing benefits or hearing comments and jokes about your age. Have you ever felt you have been discriminated because of your age? Here are some facts about age discrimination in the workplace:

  • It is illegal for employers to show age discrimination at any part of the employment process, from hiring to layoffs or even during raises and promotions
  • Employers are legally allowed to ask for your age or when you graduated
  • A higher percentage of women between 45 and 74 believe in workplace age discrimination than men in that same age range
  • Older workers claim that losing out on a prospective job is the most common form of age discrimination
  • Age discrimination makes up 1 in 5 of all discrimination charges received by the EEOC
  • An AARP study found that 65 percent are more engaged in their work than their younger counterparts
  • There are ways to fight age discrimination whether you are employed or looking for work

Proving that age discrimination occurred can sometimes be more difficult than with other types of discrimination. However, this should not discourage you from filing a claim if you believe it has happened to you. Every person has the right to be treated fairly at work regardless of their age.

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