Age discrimination has been illegal in the United States since 1967 when Congress passed the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. While it might seem very cut-and-dry that discrimination in the workplace against persons 40 years of age and older is illegal in the US, the reality is much murkier than this.
In modern times, age discrimination is rife. According to the AARP, most Americans report age discrimination beginning around age 50.
General facts about age discrimination
Women are more likely to report age discrimination in the workplace as compared to men. Over 70% of women over the age of 40 reported facing age discrimination at work. Comparatively, under 60% of men in the same age bracket reported the same. Overall, it does appear that aging impacts women in the workforce more than men.
According to AARP survey respondents, age discrimination takes its heaviest toll at the time of hiring. Nearly 20% of survey respondents claim that companies did not hire them due to their age. Approximately 12% of respondents reported getting passed over for promotions due to their age.
Taking action against age discrimination
The most common route is to contact the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). However, keep in mind that simply contacting the EEOC does not mean that you will get a ruling in your favor. It is possible to hire legal professionals and not win the case. In order to give yourself the best chance, you should document all of the age discrimination as soon as it happens.
Age discrimination is a reality in the modern American workplace, but that does not mean you need to tolerate it. Good record-keeping on your end can help bolster your potential age discrimination case.