December 28, 2015

Connecticut Efforts to Fight Age Discrimination

According to a National Bureau of Economic Research study, your age may negatively affect your chances of getting a job, especially if you’re female. Researchers submitted nearly identical resum├ęs in response to more than 40,000 job opportunities in fields as varied as administrative, sales, security, and janitorial. The only difference in the fictional resumes? The applicant’s age.

The researchers found that “applicants” age 29-31 received a call back at significantly higher rates that those ages 49-51 and 64-66. According to the researchers, applicants around retirement age (the 64-66 age bracket) received calls at lower rates than middle age applicants (the 49-51 age bracket). Researchers found especially “robust evidence” of age discrimination against older women. The results of this study contrast with the goals of federal law.
Age discrimination against people 40 or older is prohibited by the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act. AARP’s Age Discrimination website offers advice and guidelines for filing an age discrimination claim.

Connecticut is stepping up the battle age discrimination. The Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut recently launched the Stop Ageism Now campaign to inform people about ageism’s effects and collaborate on solutions. Ageism, according to a letter by the agency’s CEO Ted Surh, is the systematic discrimination against older people. The campaign’s website includes a quiz to help identify ageism in your life, a place to share stories of ageism, and information on ageism.