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Dealing with age discrimination

Age discrimination is shockingly prevalent in the hiring process these days, despite the fact that it is illegal under state and federal employment laws. For many Texas job seekers, this can be incredibly frustrating and can make the difficult economy seem even worse.

Job seekers who are not considered for a position or not hired because of their age do have a right to pursue a legal action against the employer. If they are successful, then they would be eligible to be paid lost wages for the time that they could have been working for the company if they had not been the victim of discrimination.

However, some people would prefer to have been hired in the first place, rather than pursuing a legal action. Experts in the field of recruiting and hiring practices agree that age discrimination in pervasive and difficult to overcome. In some situations it will not be possible to get a company to reconsider their policies without legal action, but there are times when the unconscious bias of the hiring manager can be overcome.

Experts say that for job seekers who find themselves turned away because of their age, it's important not to focus too much on trying to hide or distract from age. Instead, focus the application and interview process on the unique skill set and problem solving abilities that make your age irrelevant to the issues. Smart employers won't want to turn away a capable and creative job applicant simply because of their age, and if they do, then there is always the option of a legal action.

Source: PBS, "Ask the Headhunter: The "Dirty Little Secret" of Age Discrimination" Paul Solmon, Nov. 13, 2012

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