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Few workers formally complain about ageism

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, only 3 percent of those who experienced age discrimination filed a complaint. In 1967, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was implemented, which is meant to protect New York workers and others from ageism. However, studies have shown that 90 percent of respondents aged 45 and older believe that ageism is common in the workplace. Furthermore, 60 percent said that they have seen or experienced it themselves.

In places such as Silicon Valley, individuals who are in their 30s or older generally have a harder time finding work. In some cases, they may not even see online ads used to recruit workers. In 2017, 55 percent of complaints made to the EEOC were related to wrongful termination. In that same year, roughly 21 percent of complaints were related to harassment based on age. That figure tripled 1992's sum of 6 percent.

Some people have alleged that their terms of employment or treatment on the job were different from others due to their age. Complaints of age discrimination are increasingly being made by female workers and those of color. Black workers made up 27 percent of the age discrimination charges in 2017, which was up from 14 percent in 1990. The EEOC also said that ageism has many characteristics in common with other types of workplace discrimination.

Individuals who are treated differently than others at work because of their age may benefit from consulting an attorney. The same may be true if a person was terminated because of his or her age. A lawyer may review manager statements or look at recent hiring and firing trends within the organization to determine if ageism played a role in those decisions. If so, an individual may be entitled to compensation from his or her employer.

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