Although prohibited by federal law, age discrimination still affects older employees and job applicants. As reported by the AARP, nearly one out of every six job applicants over age 50 interviewed for a study stated they were not hired based on their age.
The AARP research also showed how prevalent on-the-job age discrimination remains. More than 60% of employees over age 50 believe older workers deal with on-the-job discrimination. Over 90% of the interviewees believe it reflects a common occurrence.
Employers may ask applicants to consent to background checks requiring their birth date
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission notes that it is not unlawful for employers to conduct background checks before making a hire. Federal labor laws generally do not forbid employers from asking job candidates for their birth dates when needed to conduct a background check.
The EEOC also notes that making a hiring decision based on a candidate’s age may violate the law. Applicants consenting to provide their birth date should not fear it will disqualify them. When qualified older applicants question why they did not receive a job offer, it may reflect age discrimination.
Age discrimination may begin after starting a new job
After taking on a new position, older individuals may begin experiencing discrimination from supervisors or coworkers. As noted by Entrepreneur.com, older employees may deal with stereotypical biases regarding their competency. Nearly one out of four members of a work team reported they endured negative remarks from supervisors or coworkers.
Federal law prohibits employers and coworkers from treating applicants or employees unfavorably based on their age. Individuals aged 40 and over who experience discrimination may file a legal action against the employer.