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Survey seeks employee input regarding age discrimination

The AARP recently conducted a survey of those over the age of 45 to gauge their feelings about age discrimination at work. Of those in New York and elsewhere who responded, 61 percent said that they had experienced age discrimination or seen others experience it. Furthermore, 38 percent said that they believed the practice to be very common. However, research does show that the workforce participation rate for older Americans is higher than it was before the Great Recession.

Furthermore, it is believed that by 2020, roughly 35 percent of the workforce is going to be 50 or older. According to the AARP survey, over 90 percent said that they would be in favor of stronger laws against age discrimination. Age discrimination at work can take a variety of forms, such as hearing comments about a person's age by a boss or colleague. Others say that not getting a job or getting bypassed for a promotion constitutes age discrimination.

The AARP survey found that many workers believe that discrimination generally starts at around age 50. Minority groups and older female employees are more likely than others to say that they have felt the impact of ageism in the workplace. To help combat such discrimination, the AARP created an employer pledge that 650 companies have agreed to adhere to.

Workers who aren't promoted or encouraged by their employers may be victims of ageism in the workplace. It might be possible to take legal action against a company to seek compensation for violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. One may also wish to take legal action if age discrimination results in a wrongful termination. Evidence of ADEA violations could be found in manager statements or patterns in hiring.

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