If you are over 50 and haven’t felt the sting of ageism yet, you soon will, according to experts and surveys. Ageism in the workplace is the last acceptable bias in America, and signs of illegal age discrimination are widespread, according to an expanded special report in this month’s AARP Bulletin. The report notes ageism in three primary categories:
HIRING: Younger applicants are often explicitly favored for open positions, particularly through illegally worded help-wanted ads that appear every day on online job boards;
ON-THE-JOB: Older workers continue to face verbal harassment and blocked advancement opportunities, particularly in high-tech industries, due to a continued misperception of older workers’ digital skill sets and cultural attributes;
FIRING: Older workers can be targeted for layoffs or termination due to often-false perceptions about their pay levels and contributions.
The investigation also shows that some large companies might have few concerns over their age-discriminatory practices because the laws that are supposed to protect workers from ageism are decidedly weaker than laws protecting against other forms of bias. Find out how to spot ageism, both in and out of the workplace, and what you can do to combat it.