Age discrimination on the rise

They say that age is only a number and that a person is only as old as they feel. While those things might be true, it is undeniable that ageism in the workplace is on the rise.

New research shows that workplace discrimination on the basis of age has risen in recent years, and also become more socially acceptable than similar forms of discrimination.

Research by LinkedIn Pulse shows that ageism rose by 44 percent from 1991 to 2014. The bias is even affecting workers still in their 30s and 40s.

Older workers have qualifications — including skill and experience — that typically call for higher wages. But employers often seek younger workers who will fill the jobs for less pay.

Human resources publication HR Dive says the problem is partly caused by Baby Boomers who are hanging on to jobs for financial reasons. The publication also believes that younger workers will inevitably win the battle with their older counterparts; mainly because they have an insurmountable pay advantage.

HR Dive says ageism is particularly egregious in industries such as high tech, though it warns employers that The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA) both protect workers over age 40 and that companies must avoid bias in hiring or risk legal problems.

Of course, companies must also avoid age discrimination in giving promotions or pay raises, as well as when making decisions about layoffs or firings.

If you have faced unlawful discrimination in a Milwaukee workplace because of your age, you can speak with a skilled employment law attorney with the law firm of Alan C. Olson & Associates, s.c.

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