My Personal Introduction
I retired from a 23-year law enforcement career when I was 46 years old. I knew when I retired I wanted to pursue a second career in information technology.
Since I had obtained an online degree concentrating in technology I thought my chances were good for finding a job once retired.
Over the next 7 years I did find a couple of jobs working in technology support roles just to have two jobs taken away with layoffs resulting from company’s being bout out or simply moving from the region where I live.
I currently work for a web design company but would like to move back into a technology or customer service role with a larger company.
I have applied for many jobs in technology and other fields, however, now at age 58 I hardly ever receive a letter or email thanking me for applying and announcing that I did not get the position I applied for.
I am qualified for every job I apply for and know the basis for the rejection is my age, however, it is nearly impossible to prove age discrimination.
In this post, I intend to answer the question, are age and discrimination an issue for retirees?
What is age discrimination?
To start my research on any post I always turn to Wikipedia. When I searched the Wikipedia site for “age discrimination” the result was the word “ageism”, also spelled “agism. According to Wikipedia ageism is “stereotyping and discrimination against individuals or groups on the basis of their age.”
In 1967 President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA). This labor law was designed to stop employers from discriminating against anyone 40 years of age and older. Originally, this law covered ages 40 – 65. Amendments to the law since 1965 have lifted the upper age limit of 65 thus doing away with a mandatory retirement age.
ADEA applies to all companies with 20 or more employees and encompasses private, state and federal organizations.
What are some signs of age discrimination?
Unfortunately, many people retire and then realize their retirement savings are not enough to live comfortably. They then attempt to entire back into the workforce and begin a job search.
Or, people who have reached retirement age would like to retire but don’t have enough savings and continue to work even into their late 60s and early 70s.
If you fit into one of these two situations you may have experienced discrimination because of your age.
According to an article published in The Washington Post on February 28, 2019, there have been 205,355 closed cases of age discrimination since 2010. 16% received relief and 1% actually had a finding of discrimination. These statistics were gathered through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission(EEOC).
Signs of age discrimination within the workforce:
- Being forced or asked to retire – Companies will offer attractive retirement packages in an effort to entice older employees to retire. Then, if the employee does not accept the offer they are fired anyway.
- Age related harassment – Making statements about an employees age such as name-calling in an effort to get them to quit or retire. This is done by employers because age related firing is illegal.
- Your company hires only younger people – You’ve noticed over a period of time that your company has only hired much younger people.
- Younger workers receiving promotions – You’ve noticed over a period of time that only younger employees are receiving promotions even when you or older employees are more qualified.
- Reduced workload – Over time you have been assigned work that is less challenging and younger worker receive all of the more challenging projects.
- Unfair disciplinary action – Older employees receive more strict discipline for similar work related offenses than younger employees.
Signs of age discrimination within a job application process:
- Employer only recruits through certain social media outlets – Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram are social media platforms geared more to younger people. If an employer uses these three outlets to recruit workers rather than Facebook or LinkedIn they may be overlooking older applicants.
- Recruiting efforts that overlook older applicants – Some employers may only recruit for new employees through colleges.
- Job requirements not being met – If a job posting describes certain experience requirements that you meet, however, the chosen applicant has no experience.
- You are “over-qualified” – You were told either in a job pre-screening process or an interview that you are over-qualified or have too much experience it is the employers way of thinking but not saying that you are too old.
- You see age related ad words – In the job description you see words such as high-energy, a ninja, GPA of 3.5, or digitally savvy, the employer may be searching for younger applicants.
What can you do about age and discrimination?
Age discrimination, even though illegal, is very hard to prove. If you are lucky enough to get an interview for a job you have applied for, here is an excellent article I found that may help when speaking one on one with the hiring manager.
If you feel you have been a victim of age discrimination you can file a complaint with the EEOC here.
You can also combat age discrimination by taking matters into your hands. I have written several posts geared towards retirees that present alternatives to working in an officer environment, instead, work from the comfort of your own home.
“Work From Home Jobs That Are Not Scams – Information For Retirees to Consider” describes examples of work from home jobs that are not scams and lists several good websites to search for virtual employment.
Also, see this article, describing work from home chat jobs and how they make for an excellent alternative to the everyday drive to and from an office.
What am I doing about age and discrimination?
While becoming more and more frustrated with job searching and getting older and older I decided to see if there was something I could do about starting a business of my own. Naturally, being interested in technology and the internet I turned to searching for online options to make money.
I initially looked at opening an online dropshipping business. I started by searching for websites that were currently for sale and were making a profit. Not having any online sales experience other than eBay and seeing the costs associated with these opportunities I turned my focus to affiliate marketing.
Fortunately for me, and unlike many others, I had not spent any money on scam sites and sites that offered some value but were full of upsells. Then, in June 2018 I found Wealthy Affiliate through a member’s post. The member, “Littlemama”, has been a great coach and source of great encouragement and information since I joined.
You can read my review of Wealthy Affiliate here.
Are age and discrimination an issue for retirees? My answer is, a definite yes. Age discrimination complaints to the EEOC continue to grow each year. One thing I’ve noticed when looking at job listings, not all companies include “age” when they make the statement we hire regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc..
Age discrimination is extremely difficult to prove. That being said, there are things to look for when working in a job where you suspect age discrimination and things to look for when you are applying for a job after retirement.
People can also file complaints with the EEOC when age discrimination is suspected.
I hope you have enjoyed my post and please feel free to leave your comments below and share on your social media platforms. I will respond to all comments as soon as possible.