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NBER finds signs of age discrimination in many job postings

| Jan 6, 2020 | Workplace Discrimination |

Widespread age discrimination sometimes makes finding a job difficult for older adults in New Jersey. A report released by the AARP strongly suggested that employers favor younger job applicants. An analysis of the language within job postings by the National Bureau of Economic Research supported this claim. The NBER identified the frequent use of words and conditions meant to attract younger job applicants and discourage older ones.

The authors of the NBER study of job postings described linguistic evidence derived from stereotypes of older workers. They exposed numerous examples of job openings that emphasized requirements for physical abilities and technology skills. Job postings stating that applicants had to lift certain amounts of weight or possess experience with specific software could show that those employers wanted to hire young people.

Employers acting upon stereotypes of older workers assume that they lack physical strength and cannot handle technology. People who discriminate against older workers generally believe that both older men and women cannot use modern communication technology.

Once older workers manage to get jobs, their job security may be more tenuous compared to younger workers. A company that chooses to reduce its workforce might begin by terminating older workers first, according to the AARP. The organization believes that age discrimination occurs because many people consider it acceptable. An aging workforce, however, might take more legal actions against this form of discrimination as time goes on.

A person who wants to hold an employer accountable for age discrimination might gain a better perspective on his or her legal options by speaking with an attorney who is familiar with workplace discrimination. Employment law protects workers from mistreatment motivated by race, sex, age or religious prejudice. An attorney might organize evidence of illegal conduct and open discussions about paying the victim a settlement.