A new survey has found a disconnect between workplace attitudes and older workers’ intentions of remaining employed. When the Hiscox insurance company queried people about age discrimination, responses showed a widespread problem. Among workers age 40 and over, 20% responded that they had been the target of age discrimination at work. The same survey, however, indicated that 67% of respondents 65 and younger expected to remain employed after age 66.
The prevalence of discrimination varied by gender. After turning 40, roughly 25% of women reported that their age impeded career advancement. Men reported greater difficulty — 43% of them believed that passing the 40-year mark reduces the chances of getting new jobs. Very few respondents said that their employer’s bias training addressed ageism at all.
The survey also determined that only 40% of workplace discrimination victims report the mistreatment. Nearly one-quarter of them did not know how to make a complaint. The majority (54%) worried that their work environments would become more hostile if they complained. Fear of retaliation also prevented 62% of witnesses from reporting mistreatment of co-workers.
A management liability professional who commented on the study called age discrimination a significant problem. It could ruin an employer’s reputation and cause financial damage. A victim who does come forward with a complaint might obtain a settlement for the cost of career damage.
A victim could ask an attorney for information about how to hold an employer accountable for workplace discrimination. Legal counsel may organize evidence about an employer’s illegal practices. This could form a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and possibly lead to a civil lawsuit.