Widespread fear of age discrimination among older workers

Tennessee members of the baby boom generation are maintaining their health and living longer than previous generations, but age discrimination could derail their career prospects. A survey from AARP found that two-thirds of workers between 45 and 74 had been the target of age discrimination or witnessed it.

Technology companies have become notorious for discriminating against older workers. Although complaints of racial and gender discrimination within the sector have been widely publicized, allegations of age bias outnumbered those complaints at the 150 largest technology companies during the last 10 years. When technology workers hit age 35, their fears about being perceived as old begin to grow.

A lawsuit filed by the Communication Workers of America reveals the extent of the problem. The union's complaint accuses Amazon, T-Mobile, Capital One Financial and Enterprise Rent-a-Car of only targeting young people with their job advertisements on Facebook. Journalists from ProPublica have reported that 20,000 older workers were forced out at IBM during a five-year period.

Age discrimination can take many forms, such as refusal to hire, being skipped over for promotion or outright dismissal. The Age Discrimination Employment Act of 1967 established protections for workers 40 and older, but people experiencing workplace discrimination due to age might not know how to assert their rights. The representation of an attorney could improve their ability to document and communicate a complaint to an employer. A settlement might include financial damages as well as reinstatement to a position. To pursue these goals, an attorney might file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the applicable state agency.

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