Experience is generally considered a good thing when it comes to securing a job. But this is not always the case. Some older employees face age bias in their jobs or in the hiring process.
Results from a recent study suggest that age discrimination does, in fact, occur. Fake resumes were created representing the following age groups:
- Ages 29-31
- Ages 49-51
- Ages 64-66
The applications were sent to employers who are known to employ a wide range of ages. The jobs were included retail sales, administrative assistants, secretaries, janitors, and security guards. Three applications were sent out for each job, one from each age group. More than 40,000 applications were sent out for more than 13,000 jobs.
The results of the study were eye-opening. Applicants from the youngest age group (29-31) received more callbacks than the middle age group (49-51). The oldest age group (64-66) received the fewest callbacks.
According to the study, age discrimination hits women especially hard. Callback rates fell by a quarter for females from the youngest to the middle group, and by another quarter from the middle group to the oldest group.
Unfortunately, age discrimination will continue. This is especially concerning as the population ages and workers are expected to continue working past retirement age. It is important that workers are able to recognize signs of age discrimination – and also that they understand their rights and legal options.
Age discrimination in the workplace is illegal. Employers cannot discriminate against a job applicant or an employee on the basis of age. Employers can be held accountable when age discrimination occurs.