Alert
Close

Last chance – give now. Before 2014 ends, help struggling seniors. Donate

Highlights

Open

most popular
ARTICLES

Viewed

work
PROGRAMS

Best Employers for Workers Over 50

See the latest winners of this AARP recognition program.

Employer Resource Center

Attract and retain top talent in a changing workforce.

Work@50+

What You Can (and Can't) Do About Age Bias

Understand your rights, and the attitudes you may face.

En español | You're in the middle of a job interview and the recruiter or prospective employer asks, "So, how old are you?"

What do you think when you read this scenario? Let me guess that you are probably caught off guard and thoughts are racing through your head. “Can they really ask me that?” you wonder.

If you are like the majority of age 50+ job seekers, I’ll wager you answered yourself with a resounding, "No."

And you would be wrong.

While it may fly in the face of what you know about the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and on top of that be outright rude, the question itself is legal.

You should know before an interview how you’ll react and what you’ll say when asked about your age. Much of what we believe we know about age discrimination is vague and ambiguous. That’s bad news for age 50+ workers. Our opinions about age bias can influence our behavior during a job search and after we become employed. While it’s important to understand the principles of age-discrimination law, it is more important to figure out how to deal with it out in the world.

Age bias in hiring and employment may be the last socially acceptable form of discrimination. While the ADEA makes age-based discrimination in hiring, pay, benefits, training, advancement, and termination illegal, many people over the age of 50, and increasingly older than 40, believe that age bias still exists and affects them.

Research from two recent studies conducted by RetirementJobs.com and AARP confirms that between 80 and 95 percent of people over age 50 believe that “age bias is a fact of life.” The published statistics about actual age-discrimination claims, however, don’t support common perceptions about the extent and power of age bias. All this is not to minimize concerns about age bias. I want you to think about what you can and cannot do about the reality, or self-fulfilling perceptions, of perceived age bias. … Back to Article

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Jobs You Might Like

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

UPS Store membership discount aarp benefits

Members save 15% on eligible products/services, 5% on UPS shipping at The UPS Store®.

membership adt

Small business owners save 20% on new installation of any new ADT security system.

Mujer en la parte de afuera de so negocio

Free quotes for members from the AARP® Small Business Insurance Program.

Member Benefits

Renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points

Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.