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Age discrimination is a problem — and it’s getting worse

| Jul 4, 2021 | Employment Law |

Living in Hawaii can be expensive, and many people find it helpful to continue working regardless of societal expectations to retire. Unfortunately, the men and women who do keep working in their later years face many obstacles in the workplace. Age discrimination costs workers money as well as their career paths. 

Age discrimination is far too common 

Every year, age discrimination claims account for more than 20% of the claims that are filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 2018, 61% of older workers either experienced or witnessed age-based discrimination. By 2020, that number jumped to 78%. The AARP reports that 2020 was a particularly difficult year for these workers, who struggled with high levels of unemployment and finding new employment. According to the AARP, there are three main types of age-based discrimination: 

  • Age-related firing 
  • Promotion discrimination 
  • Hiring discrimination 

Promotion discrimination can be especially frustrating for experienced workers, as it generally involves a younger, less qualified worker being promoted at the expense of an older worker. Hiring discrimination is perhaps even more insidious as it keeps certain people out of the workforce altogether. Companies often try to subtly filter out older workers by using specific phrasing — such as “digital native” — when hiring. 

Demonstrating that age was a key factor in a victim’s wrongful treatment is key to successfully navigating an age discrimination claim. This may be easier said than done, though. Victims of age discrimination in Hawaii should be sure that they are prepared to back up their claims with evidence in how age played a role in their mistreatment.