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Old 08-30-2011, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,732,288 times
Reputation: 32304

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I have not personally experienced age discrimination, having retired from full-time work at 61 and continued part-time work at the invitation of employers. But that's not saying it doesn't exist. I am now 67.

OK Zarathu, here's the thread for you! Come on and vent! (And you won't even be off-topic!)
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:37 PM
 
Location: SoCal
6,064 posts, read 9,526,027 times
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I'm not yet to retirement age, but close. I have several friends - well-educated and competent - who were laid off when this recession hit, and they don't yet have jobs. Companies instead hire college grads. They say they should be able to hire people who have more up-to-date knowledge and whose salary isn't such a burden on the company. Ageism? Maybe.

But then, companies used to hire men instead of women, saying they should be able to hire people who need to support families (instead of being 'just' a second income) and who won't be leaving to have babies. Sexism? Certainly.

So why was the first example only 'maybe' ageism? (Current answer is because the Supreme Court says so ... they upheld the companies' reason for laying off older workers and replacing them with college grads.)
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:00 PM
 
Location: WA
5,394 posts, read 21,390,738 times
Reputation: 5892
Sometimes discrimination is the act of selecting / distinguishing rather than a prejudicial action. I certainly have hired based upon look / attitude in a position that required acceptance and communication with a select population.

I have honestly been subjected to discrimination and fully understood the process. In one job interview the hiring manager explained even though I met all qualifications and had the expertise to excel at the tasks the customer would expect a particular character for the position… so I was told that if I was over six foot tall with gray hair and a more distinguished look he would have hired me. Many jobs require an actor (look at politicians).

I have been told by a very experienced HR recruiter that candidates over 50 are absolutely on the bottom of the list.
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 82,985,331 times
Reputation: 17510
Companies operate in the legal world and not what people think is right or wrong as determined by innumerable people. So, companies spend lots of money on lawyers to ensure they no way can be sued for age discrimination. They know what they are doing. They have all the data.

My colleague just got laid off, last day tomorrow. He just turned 60, PhD in Physics, has a charge number (as opposed to charging overhead), and has all of the special qualifications need to work in our industry. As part of the release documentation, he was provided the ages of all the people in his skill code. Of 14 in that group two were laid off. The two that were laid off were average age [something like] 45 and the other 12 average age was [something like] 37. The company said the decision was based on performance reviews, skills, years of service, (and I think something else but I forgot).

We work for a very large aerospace company with a lot of staff lawyers who know every rule. It's probably impossible to win something in court.
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,886 posts, read 25,316,043 times
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One step further.... If you are over 40 and starting over, odds are, you will never make up what you lost. Discrimination is rampant. HR doesn't know what to do with you because historically very few people 40+ have been cluttering up their offices looking for entry level work. By the time you are 40+, you are supposed to be well established and have your own employment niche all carved out. You are more expensive to insure and probably have higher expectations than younger people with less work experience.

Then there's the fact that the 25 yo 'supervisor' isn't comfortable managing people twice her age, with twice her experience, and twice her education. So who is she going to hire? She will hire a young person who doesn't intimidate her and isn't smart enough to be a threat to her job. She is just looking out for number one.

The good jobs we used to have went away and won't be replaced in the US. It's going to be years, maybe even decades, before the economy improves and finds it's way. Years we can't afford to waste. We are getting nothing but older. Probably the only real chance we have is to be self employed. Self employed doing what? That's a conundrum.
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Old 08-30-2011, 03:44 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,475,774 times
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My experience? Nada! But I've had no thoughts about trying to re-enter the workforce and never will.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:33 PM
Status: "0-0-2 Game On!" (set 4 hours ago)
 
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
7,295 posts, read 15,345,231 times
Reputation: 9468
We took early retirement when it was offered because it was clear the company (a Fortune 50 company) was about to enter a round of lengthy layoffs - the spouse is an engineer and the projects he was working on were coming to a close and there were only vague discussions of new projects. Since he was already in his mid-50s, he knew, from watching coworkers try to find new jobs, that a 50-something engineer had about zero chance of being hired at any salary, let alone present salary. Age discrimination in engineering jobs has a long and well-documented history.

About 6 months after he retired, 75% of the engineers at the plant were laid off, into an already-horrendous job market. And, before someone implies it, his skills ARE up-to-date in his field, as were most of his co-workers'.

My favorite story about the company is that about 10 years prior they had a lay-off and were successfully sued for age discrimination, as the bulk of the layoffs came in older, higher-paid workers. So the next layoff was RANDOM. Managers had no say in which of their engineers were let go, although there was a process by which a manager could claim that an employee was a "critical resource" and attempt to have a layoff rescinded. For the last 7 years of his job there, the spouse got a 0-1% raise every year but was "awarded" the title of Critical Engineering Resource.
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:07 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,912,172 times
Reputation: 18050
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdelena View Post
Sometimes discrimination is the act of selecting / distinguishing rather than a prejudicial action. I certainly have hired based upon look / attitude in a position that required acceptance and communication with a select population.

I have honestly been subjected to discrimination and fully understood the process. In one job interview the hiring manager explained even though I met all qualifications and had the expertise to excel at the tasks the customer would expect a particular character for the position… so I was told that if I was over six foot tall with gray hair and a more distinguished look he would have hired me. Many jobs require an actor (look at politicians).

I have been told by a very experienced HR recruiter that candidates over 50 are absolutely on the bottom of the list.
I agree i that sometimes its a mmter of selectio of the most cost effective candidaite.Age from what I have seen works for and aginst you in this respect. A 20 somethig is often seen as a risk but then also a older work as risk .Young worker ;unrelaible/inexperienced and older; more health cost risk.I in fact think overall as I aged I actually was valued more than when starting out as well as trusted more. I would guess if a blue collar workers it might have been different if actual physical labor involved and risk when older as well as outpout expectations. I mean look att eh heart attaqcks stats after 50 alone.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
1,786 posts, read 2,378,235 times
Reputation: 893
So many reasons to NOT hire an "over 50" candidate vs. young... most perspective employers tend to generalize without ever meeting the person.

I'm healthier, in better physical shape then most of my younger co-workers. My attendance is much better and I retain, learn and adapt quicker also. I work until the job is done right and quicker too. The problem I'm having right now is getting my foot in the door. Like another poster stated, "they toss the application if the candidate is over 50"...

What a shame... I will give them at least 10 solid years where the average younger work would be lucky to give them 5...

I never give up and will find that job.. there will be someone to see my value..
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:08 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,912,172 times
Reputation: 18050
I always found that a experinced work with mnay years experience is likely not to be considered for a starting position. It obvious that they want a younger person at that level with less experience because they do not believe they can hold the experinced person in time.At the same time we see youg people without experience say they can not get a start.One has to match the positiion as always in what they are looking for.its really always been this way.
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