Age Discrimination on the Rise in the U.S. Job Market

In an era of record-low unemployment, older workers are still facing discrimination in the workplace. Even in areas where employers are desperate for workers, those over 50 may have difficulty in finding a job that suits their talents and experience. According to recent employment statistics, more than half of all workers over the age of 50 lose their jobs before retirement age. In 90 percent of these cases, the affected workers never regain their previous salaries and upward mobility.

Recruitment on Social Media

One of the most subtle forms of age discrimination may be the use of social media sites as recruitment tools. By publishing job openings and recruiting on Facebook, Twitter, and other online sites, companies may be able to limit the number of older people who see and respond to these ads. This can serve as a passive method of screening out less net-savvy individuals and increasing the percentage of younger workers who apply for these jobs.

Screening Out Older Workers

Resumes that include years of experience may be viewed by employers as an indication that the worker is older, which can allow companies to eliminate some of the most qualified applicants for a particular job. The claimed reasons for these actions may be that the individuals are overqualified or that they lack qualifications that are never clearly explained or outlined in the job description.

During the interview process, older workers also experience discrimination based on their appearance. This leads to both conscious and unconscious bias during interviews and can reduce the likelihood that an older applicant will be reasonably considered for the job.

Increased Risk of Prolonged Unemployment

According to figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, older workers are less likely to find a job quicker than their younger counterparts. A 54-year-old job seeker, for example, takes almost a year to obtain gainful employment on average. A study sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco found that older applicants were far less likely to find work than their younger competitors.

The study involved 40,000 fictitious resumes sent out by researchers across a wide range of low-skill professions. The older the imaginary candidate, the less likely he or she was to receive a callback. The study also found that age discrimination began earlier for women, with those in their 40s more likely to experience difficulties in obtaining jobs and in achieving promotions in the competitive marketplace. This could lead to financial issues and other challenges for otherwise qualified candidates.

Finding the Right Representation

Many age discrimination victims are discouraged from taking their case to court because of the expense involved in the process. Working with a qualified and knowledgeable attorney who concentrates in employment law is the most reliable way to hold companies accountable for age discrimination. By taking action against companies that routinely bypass older and more qualified applicants in favor of younger candidates, you can do your part to reverse this current and unfortunate trend in the employment marketplace.

At Risman & Risman, we focus on all aspects of New York employment law. We can pursue your age discrimination case and provide you with the best representation for your legal action in and out of court. We approach your case with compassion and comprehensive knowledge of the legal landscape. Call us today at 212-233-6400 to schedule a free consultation with our team. We look forward to the opportunity to serve you.