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A federal law turns 50, but age discrimination still persists

Approximately 50 years ago, the federal government passed a law intended to protect older Americans in the workplace. Many older Texas workers could attest to the fact that age discrimination persists in spite of the law. In 2015, a field study was done to determine whether those workers are right.

The study's focus was to determine whether employers favor younger applicants over older ones when all other things remain as equal as possible. Fake resumes were created that gave the fictitious applicants the same skills. The ages of these applicants were divided into three groups.

The young applicants were ages 29 to 31, the middle-aged applicants were 49 to 51 and the older applicants were 64-66. The resumes were sent in response to job advertisements that were for jobs considered to be low skilled and available to people in all age groups. A total of 40,000 resumes were sent out for approximately 13,000 positions across 11 states. Older Texas workers might not be surprised by the results--the younger and middle-aged groups received more responses than the older group.

This study appears to verify the premise that age discrimination continues to be an issue in this country despite a legal prohibition against it. The fact is the population of the United States is getting older, and much of that older population still needs to work. Discriminating obviously has a detrimental effect on their ability to earn a living and support their families. Anyone who believes this type of discrimination has jeopardized their opportunity for employment should seek legal counsel from an experienced employment attorney.

Source: CBS News, "Age discrimination is alive and well", Anna Robaton, March 3, 2017

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