Whether you are approaching middle age and worry about the possibility of discrimination based on your age or you have already dealt with unlawful discrimination as an older worker, it is essential to have a clear understanding of your rights as an employee. If discrimination occurs, you need to immediately go over your options and address what took place, which could mean filing a complaint and holding your employer accountable.
Sadly, age discrimination occurs frequently in workplaces across the U.S. Sometimes, this mistreatment goes undetected, but some victims are afraid to come forward because they worry about retaliatory actions.
Age discrimination charges and age groups
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides data on age discrimination charges filed under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). According to the EEOC, 48% of these charges involved workers between 55 and 64 in 2017, while 17% involved workers 65 and over and 37% involved workers between 40 and 54. In 2000, more workers between 40 and 54 filed ADEA charges (52%) in comparison to other age groups.
Other statistics on age discrimination
In 2017, women filed 51% of ADEA charges, while men filed 46% (gender was not identified for 4% of these charges). In 2017, U.S. civilians between 35 and 44 made up 20.6% of the labor force, while those between 45 and 54 accounted for 21.3% of the labor force. Workers between 55 and 64 made up 16.8% of the labor force, compared to 6% for workers 65 and older.
If you have experienced unlawful age discrimination, you need to take a firm stand for your legal rights.