It's Labor Day, so you'll hear a lot about the recipes, sales, and weather – especially when Dorian ends in Florida.
But with its roots in the workers' movements of the 19th century, Labor Day is a good time to remember that employees over 65 – the fastest growing segment of the workforce – are frequent victims of age discrimination. Americans work longer – and often need jobs until well into the 60s and beyond – due to the disappearance of pensions, the desire to maximize social security benefits and the expectation that they will need more money as their lives last increases and medical costs rise.
Now, with the help of news organizations of general interest such as ProPublica two-party legislation to more easily prove age discrimination, and class-action lawsuits, seniors can get a fight to hold or new ones get jobs.
It is a tough fight. Older employees are often discriminated against because their seniority makes them more expensive than younger employees, and in the technology industry there is a pervasive picture that they are not agile ̵
CNBC Story Some applications state a "maximum" amount of work experience or have a drop-down list with birth years that do not go back far enough to include senior applicants.
For example, IBM was last year the subject of a ProPublica survey which, among other things, found a confidential planning document that talked about a "right seniority mix" and strategies to push employees into early retirement. Some employees were told that their skills were out of date and were subsequently re-employed as contract workers at lower wages with no benefits.
Like employees of the past, who fought for the 40-hour working week and against child labor, adult workers must be aware of age discrimination, at work or when looking for work. If you think that you are being dismissed due to your age, you should call the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at 1-800-669-4000 to discuss your situation. If you are applying for a job, you may want to end your social media skills and shorten your resume to omit older experience … but also know that if someone asks you to age, they break the law .
Photo: Jez Timms for Unsplash