It may be illegal for job interviewers to ask about an applicant's age, but the practice is surprisingly common. According to Randy Hoak, Associate State Director for AARP New York, 44 percent of "older workers looking for jobs" report being asked age-related questions in job interviews. Few, however, file formal complaints over the practice.
"If employers, prospective employers, are asking about your date of birth, date of graduation, that's a big red flag," Hoak said.
More AARP research reveals how older workers can be perceived negatively in the workplace. Almost half of younger adults (ages 18 to 35) believe that "it's normal to be depressed when you are old." Hoak says that contrasts to the feelings of those who are actually OVER the age of 60. Only 10 percent of that demographic felt that old age was depressing.
Workers who believe they are victims of age discrimination can seek recourse by filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The federal agency can be reached at 1-800-669-4000.
For a variety of reasons, many workers are delaying retirement. Hoak hopes employers begin to "change to capitalize on the resource that an older workforce brings."
"There's so much an older workforce has to offer, yet some workplaces aren't making adjustments to accommodate for that value."