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Ageism still a hazard in tight labor market

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) says that companies cannot discriminate against those who are age 40 and over. However, it is still considered to be an open secret that older workers have trouble finding work because of their age. According to one advisor from the EEOC, it is among the most accepted forms of discrimination in the workplace. Discrimination based on age goes farther than simply refusing to hire someone who is deemed to be too old.

It can also take the form of mandatory retirement policies or creating different employment terms for older workers. In some cases, workers claim that they were discriminated against based on their age in combination with their race or gender. To prevent discrimination from happening, companies are urged to make sure that hiring materials show workers of many different ages.

Those materials should also refrain from saying anything that may imply that a younger worker is preferred. Employees can also take steps such as reporting any experiences that may have been motivated by their age. According to the EEOC, only 3 percent of incidents related to age discrimination in the workplace are actually reported. Evidence to support these claims could include any statements made by managers that imply or clearly state that an employment decision was made based on a worker's age.

Any action taken to hire, terminate or discipline a worker that is motivated primarily by age could be a violation of the ADEA. Those who believe that they are victims of such discrimination may wish to reach out to an attorney. He or she may help a victim gather pertinent evidence to establish that something illegal occurred. In some cases, this could mean testimony from a witness who saw a person get mistreated based on age.

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