Finding a job can be a difficult task. It can be even more difficult if your age plays any factor into getting a position. Employment discrimination occurs when an employee or job seeker is treated differently because of their race, skin color, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or age. If an employee has worked for many years, one would think they would become more valuable to different organizations because of their extensive skill set and knowledge about an industry. However, sometimes their age is exactly what an employer is looking to avoid.
Employment lawyers have experience in all types of employment discrimination cases. If you have been discriminated against because of your age in the workplace, you deserve to have someone on your side to fight for your justice. No one deserves to be treated negatively for being an experienced professional in the workplace.
The Gray Ceiling
As an employment lawyer in Towson, MD from a law firm like Seigel & Rouhana, LLC, can explain, the gray ceiling is a phrase used to describe the age discrimination that many older employees and job seekers face while looking for a job or trying to obtain a promotion. When many people think of age discrimination in the workplace, grey-haired employees is the first image that comes to mind. However, people are facing age discrimination even in their mid-thirties. Older job seekers and employees might be considered more expensive than younger applicants. This is because of higher salary requirements, benefits costs, and pensions.
Ways to Prevent Age Discrimination in a Job Search
There are some strategies older job applicants can use to find meaningful and gainful employment.
- Use a functional resume instead of a chronological resume
- Limit experience on a resume for up to 15 years for a managerial position
- Leave other experience off your resume or do not associate dates with it
- Show yourself as flexible and cheerful
- Be flexible with salary as much as possible when just starting at a position
- Show proof of your successes and skills
- Use storytelling techniques to speak about your skills
Despite there being no correlation between job performance and age, companies still tend to favor younger applicants. In addition to saving money for a company, it is believed that younger applicants are quicker to pick up technology, which is a direction many companies are heading towards.
While age discrimination also occurs to younger applicants through employers offering low salaries based on their age, it is much more common for older generations to face age discrimination in the workplace.
Contact a Lawyer
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 protects employees and applicants over the age of 40 from discrimination based on age in hiring, discharge, compensation, promotion, or privileges or conditions of employment. Every state has their own laws that provide protection for employees.
Age discrimination can be a difficult case to prove. An employer could argue that an employee did not have the right skills or attitude as another applicant. If you think you have been discriminated against in the workplace based on your age, contact a qualified employment lawyer as soon as possible.