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Age discrimination making it difficult for older workers to find employment

December 18, 2018

By Samuel J. Cordes, Esq.

When jobs are scarce, employers often have many more applicants than available positions. This allows them to be selective, and they will often spend a significant amount of time screening the candidates to find the perfect hire. Many factors may go into this decision, and after a decision has been made, it may be obvious why a certain candidate received an offer.

However, it is not uncommon for some to wonder why they were not selected for a promotion or position with an employer. When they review their qualifications, they seem to have more experience handling the issues that would arise on the job. It is only natural to wonder what specific factors the employer used to make a decision.

If the employer is showing a history of refusing to hire or promote a certain class, this may be evidence of discrimination. Older employees may experience this discrimination first-hand. They have to convince their employers that they are able to perform the work that is required of them, but also show that they will be able to adapt to any changes in the workplace. Often, they have to fight the perception that they are not as capable as their younger colleagues, which can lead to reduced opportunities for advancement.

Not every action by an employer against an older employee will be considered age discrimination. Each situation will require a careful review of the facts, and certain elements must be present before a claim can proceed under the federal law that prohibits age discrimination.

The employee must be a member of a protected class, and being an older employee may qualify the individual for this part of the test. Next, the employee must have suffered an adverse employment action, which can range from being bypassed for a promotion to having their position downsized. The individual must have been qualified for the position in question, and must show how he or she was treated differently from those in other groups.

These can be extremely complex cases, because it can be difficult to show that age was the main factor in an employer’s decision. There are often other issues that can be used to explain why a certain employee was hired or promoted, which will mean that the employee is unable to recover any damages for the employer’s actions.

If you believe your employer has discriminated against you, speak to an experienced employment law attorney about your case. Each situation will need to be carefully analyzed to determine if the actions amounted to unlawful activity. It is important to work with someone who understands what to look for, and can help you present a clear picture of the discrimination that is occurring in the workplace.

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