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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Over 23,000 Age Bias Complaints Last Year. What Is Your Reaction or Story?

Last Year there was over 93 million dollars awarded from age bias complaints made under the ADEA. In addition a total of over 23,000 new age bias charges were made to the EEOC. Based on all of the anecdotal comments we see at Interns Over 40 it is probably vastly under reporting the impact of age discrimination against workers over 40 both in hiring and employment. What is Your Reaction?

 Age Discrimination in Employment Act
(includes concurrent charges with Title VII, ADA and EPA)
FY 1997 - FY 2010

                                              FY 2008       FY 2009      FY 2010
Receipts(complaints)               24582 22778 23264
Resolutions                              21415 20529 24800
Resolutions By Type  
Settlements                              1974 1935 2250
                                                 9.2% 9.4% 9.1%
Withdrawals w/Benefits            1252 1161 1322
                                                 5.8% 5.7% 5.3%
Administrative Closures             6387 4031 4167
                                              29.8% 19.6% 16.8%
No Reasonable Cause            11124 12788 16308
                                            51.9% 62.3% 65.8%
Reasonable Cause                   678 614          753
                                              3.2% 3%         3%
Successful Conciliations           220 202         252
                                              1% 1%         1%
Unsuccessful Conciliations       458 412         501
                                               2.1% 2%         2%
Merit Resolutions                 3904 3710 4325
                                             18.2% 18.1% 17.4%
Monetary Benefits (Millions)* $82.8 $72.1 $93.6

The following chart represents the total number of charge receipts filed and resolved under the ADEA.

Receipts include all charges filed under the ADEA as well as those filed concurrently under Title VII, ADA, and/or EPA. Therefore, the sum of receipts for all statutes will exceed total charges received.

The data are compiled by the Office of Research, Information and Planning from data reported via the quarterly reconciled Data Summary Reports and compiled from EEOC's Charge Data System and, from FY 2004 forward, EEOC's Integrated Mission System. * Does not include monetary benefits obtained through litigation.

The total of individual percentages may not always sum to 100% due to rounding.
EEOC total workload includes charges carried over from previous fiscal years, new charge receipts and charges transferred to EEOC from Fair Employment Practice Agencies (FEPAs). Resolution of charges each year may therefore exceed receipts for that year because workload being resolved is drawn from a combination of pending, new receipts and FEPA transfer charges rather than from new charges only.

More Age Bias Articles:
1) Age Discrimination Act Of 1967: How Does It Affect Age Bias?


  1. To me, a lot of employers who allow age bias also hire illegal aliens and/or pay below minimum wages to most employees they hire.

  2. A creative way employers use to bias: "No more than 2(or 3)job changes." With average job tenure these days at around 3-4 years, they effectively rule out 40+ year old candidates. I had this rule used on me twice where the HR persons, both under 30, ended up presenting and hiring people (also under 30) who failed to meet most of the job requirements while I met all of them as outlined in job description.

    Great thing about LinkedIn- you can usually see who gets hired ahead of you and measure their posted background against posted background job requirements. Oh well- back to the job search: someone is out there who values talent and experience over youth.

  3. For many of you age discrimination is probably a recent experience. For me it is nothing new, over twenty years of age discrimination.

    It seems that nobody wants a more experienced person to threaten their job. And the younger hiring managers and HR personnel pass over the older worker.

    I have an other strike against myself in that I have worked on a contract basis for about half of my working career.

    You really need evidence to prove an age discrimination claim. So be alert to see if someone makes mistake and provides you with the evidence you need.

    Do every thing you can to look younger and be update to date with office technology and do not provide any information on your resume that would automatically eleminate you.

    Their are many career coaches that provide free information online including Interns Over 40.

    Do not give up, keep improving your resume and interviewing skills.

  4. I'm curious - what are some examples of 'mistakes' to be on the lookout for?

  5. "Mistakes". Not sure it if will hold up in court, but bring a small digital voice recorder to the interview.

    Serves 2 purposes:
    1) You can listen later to hear how you sounded during the interview, giving clues on what you may need to work on for the next interview.

    2) Most importantly, if I had followed this adviced, with how many times HR/Hiring managers have BLATANTLY told me during the interview that they want a YOUNGER candidate, I probably wouldn't need to be looking for a job right now:)

  6. Interesting that most sites have you list the year you graduated from college or any school. That immediately offers the information that a recruiter that needs for age bias

  7. I won an age discrimination case against a quasi-government agency a few years ago. It took six years but I had a unanimous jury verdict in Federal Court followed by a positive verdict in the Federal Court of Appeals. My suggestion: don't work for a company that has age bias; they will find a way to make you miserable.

  8. In my early 50's,after several interesting courses developed by Workforce One (FL Unemployment Dept) directed specifically to mature Univ graduates with years if experience, I had a stroke. It took a year to recover but thanks to some excellent rehab sponsored by FL Dept of Voc Rehabilitation, I recovered. By the time I was ready and able to work, a year had passed. I faced the insoluable problem of trying to explain a gap in my work history. After months of honing a new resume,searching locally as well as other locations, getting interviews, making explanations and finding little success,in spite of a Wharton degree I decided to learn to live on mylimited income and doing volunteer work in a special library. I found HUD subsidized housing, a Medicare Advantage plan, a few dollars of food stamps and learned to live on a lot less. I wish you all the best of luck in your search. I have learned to be content sitting home and watching The View.

  9. I can't win, first they ask for a degree, I got a degree and now, I have my age against me. It is sad when you have an interview with a person that could be your child and they do not even know a thing about the position your are interviewing for and must read all the questions.

  10. I understand this post to address the issue of being 'too old' and the problems it causes.
    To flip the coin over, age bias can go the other way too. I will be twenty seven this year and yet still look as if I'm only fifteen -so people tell me. When people judge me off face value alone, they come across as rather patronising as they don't realise my true age. Sometimes this can be very offensive as people are downright rude. I just console myself with the fact that I've probably done a lot more and seen a lot more than most of these people.

  11. Lets treat fairly all job seeker, no matter what their age.

  12. When we are young we never cared for the older people and we tried to obstruct them. Another point is that most of the older people do have some kind of fixed track from which they refuse to come out and most of them are eager to put their finger in all areas of operations. Who will tell them that it is not their job or their job is such and such so they need to be there only. I am above 60 - even then I am unable to handle the people who are above 50 with their attitude.
    Next thing is blame it on HR not on companies.

  13. If the younger person can do the job in a satisfactory fashion for less money and benefits, that person gets hired. That is not age bias. I am 56 and the only age bias I have encountered is comments from a knucklehead in his mid-forties. He only made the comments once.

  14. Just. To bring some balance . I was hired by American Airlines aged 47, still with them aged 64 and have never experienced bias of any description, great company

  15. Hiring a "younger" person who is the best choice for the job should NOT be paid less because they are "younger." This is just another version of a negative reaction towards a candidate's age. The right business decision is to hire the best person qualified for the job based on the skills and years of experience needed for that role. For example, if 15 years of experience is needed, someone younger/new in their career would not be the best person for the job. It is also fair to say that if a position is asking for 2+ years experience that a seasoned professional is probably not the best hire. As a corporate recruiter with 12+ years of experience, I would not expect to get contacted for a junior-level position nor would I want to be. Where would be the challenge for me? The career growth? And...the salary I need and deserve for my level of knowledge?

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  17. Age complaints will continue to rise because retirement will be put off by a growing population of senior citizens who cannot afford to quit their jobs. This will tempt employers to offer separation packages or/pink slips to replace older workers with more affordable younger employees.

    The tragedy with that logic is it actually diminishes an employer's performance capacity because these employers are getting rid of the very people who built and maintained the company. There's a knowledge base there that can only be acquired by time on the job. Where's the respect?

    Now these employers have to train new employees--a younger generation with a different work ethic. Those employers my never admit it but by terminating their older workers they are setting themselves vulnerable to competitors who have seasoned employees rather than young still on a learning curve. Losing your performance edge in competitive industries can set you up for failure.

    The competitive edge will go to employers who maintain a healthy balance of young to older, proven professionals who can in turn mentor and develop their eventual replacements when they retire. Pushing older employees out too early can cost them in the short term and make employers vulnerable in the long run. It also sends a message to other valued employees, regardless of age, that you're highly expendable due to your age.

    Those employers who value, invest in, train and embrace their workforce will be rewarded with sustained and dependable strong performances and will weather the competition and market demands. They will prevail. Those who do not are gambling with their stability.

    Their demise will be the subject of case studies for students who will conclude that if an employer can discriminate against older workers, and put the business at risk, new hires must conclude that they can look forward to similar treatment as they get older.

    The questions becomes: do you want to work for an employer who can dismiss an employee simply because they are aging? Doesn't excellent performance and loyalty matter? Do I want to buy products or services from an employer who treats people in such an insensitive way? Will I recommend such an employer to my broad social circle?

    Where's the respect for the dedicated workers who brought their employers to their current place in the market? Do those employers deserve to be respected? WILL THEY BE AN EMPLOYER OF CHOICE IN THE FUTURE?

  18. I only recently began experiencing age discrimination at age 60. Before this, I would have thought people were simply not presenting themselves appropriately for the given position.

    You should know that companies which have lost Age discrimination bias suites have learned how to work the system. All they need do is hire an older worker and fire them within a few weeks. You can do this a couple of times and then hire someone younger they really want. This works in all states where you have an Employment at Will clause or a Right to Work clause on the law books. Age discrimination and bias complaints only work if you are NEVER hired. Nothing can be done if they hire you for a couple of weeks and then fire you. After all, they no longer need a reason. I know from experience.


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