June 9, 2009

Age Discrimination - Is It Real?

“When Ben Sims, 57, showed up earlier this year for a job interview at a company in Richardson, Tex., he noticed the hiring manager — several decades his junior — falter upon spotting him in the lobby.”
Complete article from The New York Times

When will the politicians jump on the age discrimination bandwagon? After all, every year is an election year – even if it doesn’t appear on a calendar. Age discrimination has been alive and well since long before the economic downturn. The current economic woes just brought the issue to the forefront.

Have you ever heard ‘you’re overqualified’ for the position? Have you ever responded to a classified ad naming the title of the position to find it was much less and generic? An ad stating: Office Manager Wanted actually dilutes in the interview to Fishbowl Receptionist! Is that a misrepresentation of the job description in the ad?

What the interviewer is actually saying is "you're older, too qualified, and we'll have to pay you what you're worth' and/or we'd prefer to place someone younger in this important position because our offer will seem great to them - you know it isn't!" It's irrelevant if the older generation has a work ethic, can learn computer programs, doesn't take time off to have children, or abuse the system with chronic absenteeism. Many in management ignore these issues in their business concept of having a 'young workforce'.

It’s one of those ‘feel good laws’ that apparently isn’t being enforced.

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