Most older workers in California and across the U.S. face age discrimination according to a new survey by AARP. The discrimination occurs both during job searches and in the workplace.

AARP polled 3,900 job applicants ages 45 and up and found that age discrimination is rampant. More than 90 percent of the survey’s participants said they believed age-related bias is common, and 61 percent said they had personally experienced it or witnessed it happening to others. Minority workers were more likely to report experiencing or seeing age discrimination than white workers. For example, over 75 percent of African-American workers and 60 percent of Latino workers reported seeing or experiencing age-related bias compared to 59 percent of white workers. Women were more likely than men to have seen or experienced it.

Many older Americans need or want to work in their later years, but 47 percent of the survey’s participants said they ran into age discrimination while looking for employment or career advancement. Examples of the types of discrimination they experienced include being denied a job due to their age, hearing negative age-related comments from co-workers or supervisors and being passed up for promotions. Other examples include being laid off or fired due to their age and being denied professional development opportunities because they are older. Of the survey participants who had applied for a new job in the last two years, 44 percent reported being asked about their date of birth and year of graduation.

Older workers are protected against age discrimination by state and federal laws. Workers who suffer age-related bias in the workplace might want to speak to an employment attorney about their situation. An attorney may assess the case and recommend the appropriate legal remedy. For example, it may be advisable to file a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Source: Next Avenue, “Age Discrimination by Employers Is Common, AARP Survey Says,” Peter Gosselin, Aug. 9, 2018