Sexual harassment has been making headlines over the last year, but it’s certainly not the only form of discrimination that is pervasive in workplaces across the country. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act was passed in 1967 to protect the rights of workers om the U.S. over the age of 40. Even though the law was passed over five decades ago, age discrimination is still present in today’s workplace. In fact, the results of an AARP survey show that age discrimination is a major problem for older workers.
How Common is Age Discrimination?
AARP surveyed nearly 4,000 people over the age of 45 who are either employed or actively looking for work. More than nine out of 10 respondents believe that age discrimination is common in job interviews and working environments. Furthermore, more than half of the respondents have witnessed age discrimination or experienced it for themselves.
The survey results also revealed that women and minorities were more likely than others to witness or experience age discrimination. African-Americans topped this list, with over 75% of respondents admitting to either seeing or experiencing age discrimination at work.
Reporting Age Discrimination
Based on the survey results, it is clear that the majority of older workers have seen or experienced some form of age discrimination. However, many of these incidents are not reported. In fact, it is estimated that only 3% of age discrimination victims report the incidents to their employer or government agencies. Many of the victims chose not to report their experiences because they feared their employers would retaliate against them. Sadly, this is a fear that victims of all types of discrimination share.
Who is reporting age discrimination? According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), complaints of age discrimination used to come primarily from men in the 1990s, however the tables have turned now. Today, women are more likely than men to report age discrimination to the EEOC. African-Americans, who are frequently discriminated against according to the AARP survey results, are also filing more age discrimination complaints with the EEOC than ever before.
Clearly, there is still a long way to go to ensure age discrimination does not prevent older workers from reaching their full potential.
Are you being discriminated against because of your age? If so, Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. is here to help. Let our experienced attorneys hold your employer accountable for this violation of your employment rights. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.