Age Discrimination Still Hurting Seniors In The Workplace

Age discrimination against senior citizens in the workplace still exists in the year 2020, according to a recent survey.


At this time, about 35 percent of the U.S. population is now age 50 or older. Yet, in 2018, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) — the nation’s workforce watchdog — issued a damning report on age discrimination against older Americans. It concluded that even though 50 years had passed since Congress outlawed the practice, “age discrimination remains a significant and costly problem for workers, their families and our economy.”


Age Discrimination: Important Statistics From The Report

Review these highlights from the report which show the following:

  • 25 percent of workers age 45 and older have been subjected to negative comments about their age from supervisors or coworkers.
  • 60 percent of older workers have experienced age discrimination in the workplace.
  • 76 percent of these older workers see age discrimination as a hurdle to finding a new job; and 50 percent of these older workers are prematurely terminated.
  • 90 percent of them never earn as much again.


This bias against senior citizens in the workplace — even though they are still fully capable has a huge ripple effect. Look at these statistics:

  • 29 percent of U.S. households headed by someone age 55 or older have no retirement savings or pension, meaning they’ll have to continue working or rely on Social Security to survive. But if the only job that remains open to them is unskilled and minimum wage, they are in big financial trouble.
  • Older people who are shunned, are three times more likely to develop a disability and four times more likely to die prematurely, compared with working counterparts.


Paradoxically, most companies do not understand that older workers possess a depth of knowledge. Their experience is worth paying for, and not easily replaced.


This attitude by many companies might be penny wise, but it’s pound foolish. Capable senior citizens have knowledge and experience, that if not transmitted to the next generation, can be financially harmful to the company in the long run.

Age Discrimination: How Can Seniors Protect Themselves

Emphasize and quantify your worth to your company. Show that you are a revenue producer and value creator. If you’re an asset, they will keep you.

Make your boss this offer, if you’re a super employee. You will stay on and contribute your wisdom at 25 percent less pay and fewer days in the office. That’s a win-win situation.

And, right now, there is an important piece of legislation that is being pushed for passage. It’s called the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA). It restores the burden of proof for age discrimination cases on a par with other forms of workplace discrimination.


Contact your members of Congress today, ask where they stand on this bill, and encourage them to support its passage.

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