Just a few years ago, researchers determined that almost a third of all workers in their mid-fifties and beyond faced some kind of discrimination at work. This was true even though the Age Discrimination In Employment Act (“ADEA”) was enacted by the federal government almost forty years ago. California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) likewise aims to protect employees against age discrimination, but sadly also has not eliminated discriminatory practices.
Even more shockingly, the age at which employees are likely to face an uphill battle is lower than previous researchers described. A recent study showed that workers 45 and older had significantly more trouble finding new employment after layoffs and terminations than those just a few years younger. In another study, it took workers 44 and older an average of five to six weeks longer to find new jobs than similar, younger workers.
You may not feel old at 44 or 45, but apparently some companies see you that way. Research in Australia has shown a definite bias about older workers, including stereotypes like being bad at using or learning new technology, being difficult to work with, and being more likely to get sick simply because of age.
If you are a victim of age bias or discrimination, what can you do? California's FEHA may not have eliminated age discrimination, but it does give you rights and protections a lawyer can help you enforce. If you have experienced age discrimination, contact an Aegis attorney to see if we can help.