Ageism? As Soon as 40?

You may feel the financial impact of age discrimination in the workplace.

In some occupations, a distinct preference for younger workers manifests itself. Even outside those career fields, ageism rears its ugly head with a potential financial cost.

A recent study confirmed the breadth of discrimination. To test the prevalence of ageism in the workforce, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco created mock resumés for a variety of fictional job seekers falling into three age groups: 29-31, 49-51, and 64-66. About 40,000 of these resumes were sent in response to more than 13,000 low-skill job openings in a dozen U.S. metro areas. Older job seekers, it turned out, were up to 47% less likely to be contacted by employers for interviews, particularly older women.¹

How can you prove ageism? An age discrimination claim may be warranted under four circumstances. One, an employer overtly tries to hire college graduates and staff a company with them. Two, an employer routinely hires people with less than five years of work experience, perhaps openly stating such a preference. Three, someone younger and obviously less qualified gets a job or promotion you are seeking or replaces you at work. Four, an HR department airs dirty laundry about a company’s discriminatory hiring and promotion practices.¹

In response to ageism, some people choose to work for themselves. You may be considering doing so. If you feel unsure about the future of your career or your financial ability to save and invest for retirement and other goals, call or email me. We may be able to find a way to keep the effort going across a work or career transition.

¹Forbes.com, “Can a Job Rejection Be Age Discrimination?,” May 10, 2017

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