According to a recent survey by the insurer Hiscox USA, 21% of American workers over 40 say they have suffered from age discrimination in the workplace. The age at which they are most likely to experience discrimination is 51, and men may suffer it slightly more than women.
Cheryl F. applied for jobs at Google four times over the course of seven years. Despite "highly pertinent qualifications and programming experience," however, and despite staff interviewers apparently finding her to be a good fit for the company, she was never hired. She believes that it was because she is over 40.
Ever since the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica did an exposé last year, former IBM employees have wondered whether the company's recent global restructuring and layoffs were motivated in part by age discrimination. Now, a group of ex-workers has filed a federal lawsuit in an effort to break down two barriers IBM put in the way of age discrimination claims.
Now that Justice Brett Kavanaugh has been sworn in, there is a full slate of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. Their new term began Oct. 1, and the court jumped right in to hear oral arguments about an age discrimination case.
Can employers legally limit the ages of job prospects by recruiting only on college campuses? Can they cap the years of experience applicants are allowed to have? Can they set up social media recruitment campaigns that exclude older people? Or would taking active steps to minimize a job's visibility to workers over 40 violate the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)?
Recently, the independent, nonprofit investigative journalism newsroom ProPublica released a detailed analysis of massive personnel changes at IBM that it believes indicate age discrimination.
Companies in the tech industry have been faced accusations of age discrimination for years. Now, according to a recent lawsuit filing, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is investigating Google for its hiring practices, including allegations of age discrimination. This lawsuit was filed by Cheryl Fillekes, a 47-year old systems engineer who was turned down for employment by Google. Ms. Fillekes and other older workers who claim discrimination by Google are seeking certification as a class action.
Age is one of the protected classes under employment law, meaning that people cannot be discriminated against in the workplace or in hiring decisions. However, many older unemployed Maryland residents would likely tell you that age discrimination is a major problem that greatly affects the chances of those over 40 to find employment.