Surprised? Don’t be. Older workers bring countless advantages to the table, like a strong work ethic and the ability to solve problems. They’re loyal, reliable, and eager to learn. And when given the opportunity to acquire new and varied skills, they’re among the most engaged members of the workforce.
But employers frequently pass over older adults in the hiring process, or fail to offer them training and education opportunities. Sometimes these oversights are unintentional; other times, they stem from persistent ageism.
Here are some ways you can protect yourself against age discrimination at work.
Make it a point to interact with younger coworkers. By inviting different perspectives and forging relationships with colleagues of all ages, you’ll show that a multigenerational workforce is good for employers and employees alike.
Keep your skills up to date, especially in computers and technology. Take advantage of training opportunities — either on your own or through your employer.
Stay on top of trends in your career field. Sharing your knowledge of the latest advances will help you demonstrate value and maintain a competitive edge.
Know your rights. It’s against the law for employers to discriminate on the basis of age. Familiarize yourself with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act so you can recognize and respond to discrimination in your workplace.
AARP Foundation attorneys defend the rights of older adults in cases involving:
- Hiring and promotions.
- Training and opportunities.
- Reductions in force (layoffs).
- Employee health and welfare benefits.
- Pension benefits and rights.
Compete With Confidence in Today’s Job Market
AARP Foundation offers a comprehensive set of workforce programs that equip unemployed and underemployed older adults with the skills and resources they need to thrive in the modern workplace.