In my experience as an employment lawyer representing employees, I've found that the recession was particularly hard on older employees. They seem to have been disproportionately targeted in layoffs, and they have a much harder time finding new jobs.
Employers might assume you're close to retirement and don't need a job, but that's far from true for most Americans. They might also assume that older employees will miss more work or have more medical issues. Yet statistics show that older employees tend to be the most reliable. It's not only foolish to discriminate based on age -- it's also illegal for most companies to do so.
Who's Protected From Age Discrimination?
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act says that it's illegal for an employer to discriminate against you because of your age, but that only applies if you're age 40 or older, and only if the employer has at least 20 employees (or is a government of any size). Some states, counties and cities have laws that protect employees of smaller organizations. Some states also have laws that further limit age-based discrimination. Always check with an employment lawyer in your state when in doubt.
But How Do I Prove Age Discrimination?
Here are the top signs that you might be a victim of age discrimination:
Thanks again to Gina Misiroglu of Red Room, who put me in touch with the AOL people!