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Bryant Whitten, LLP

Workplace discrimination based on age still a problem

Getting older is frowned upon by many in today's society. People may be worried about their looks changing or even about being turned down for jobs simply due to their age. Despite the fact that age discrimination is illegal in California, it remains a real problem. In some cases, years of experience simply are not enough to get an older person the job they want due to the existence of workplace discrimination.

Hiring managers may overlook those who are older because they are afraid these individuals will retire or die soon. In other situations, some companies may feel that older people can handle today's jobs. Today, more than 1.5 million people over age 45 in America have been unemployed for at least six months. They often cite their age as a reason.

Statistics back this up, with a recent survey finding that nearly three-fourths of those individuals between the ages of 45 and 74 have either experienced or witnessed age discrimination. Older individuals tend to spend twice as much time looking for their jobs than younger people do. The median job search period for those in their early 20s is three months, and the figure is about five months for those above the age of 44.

Being denied a much-needed job because of discrimination can feel like a slap in the face. Just as a person can't control his or her race or sex, it is impossible to control one's age. Employees in California who are mistreated for these reasons have the right to file workplace discrimination claims against their employers, and a successfully presented case can result in financial and other remedies. It is necessary to understand which facts must be established in order to succeed in this type of case.

Source: The Blade, "Older job applicants suspect age bias lurks behind rebuffs", Tyrell Linkhorn, March 30, 2014

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