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Unnecessary age concerns could lead to age discrimination

On Behalf of | Jan 22, 2019 | Employment Law |

When you first started your career path, you likely did not expect to find yourself looking for a new job at an older age. You may have worked at the same company while garnering valuable experience for years only to have the company close or other issues result in your needing a new job. Of course, because of your experience and hard-working nature, you likely did not expect it to be a problem.

Unfortunately, you could face a number of issues when it comes to finding a new job over the age of 40. You certainly may have younger competition for the same job, and though you have more experience, your prospective employer may seem more inclined to opt for younger workers. However, if you face age discrimination even during the hiring process, you may have cause to file a legal claim.

Employer concerns

Because you know you have the knowledge, skills and drive to complete the tasks necessary for the job for which you have applied, you may not understand why a prospective employer would not want you for the position, especially when it comes down to your age. Some concerns that employers may have that are commonly based solely on assumptions include:

  • Possible health issues
  • Inability to keep up with technology
  • Lack of energy
  • Slow performance
  • Not understanding current industry trends
  • Inability to relate to younger workers
  • Inability to relate to others of more diverse backgrounds

You may know what none of these assumptions apply to you because you consider yourself a likable and open person, keep up with technology, have stamina, and do your homework when it comes to ensuring that your knowledge for the job is current and top-notch. If you worry that your prospective employer may have any of the listed concerns, you may want to find a way to work in your positive qualities that would counteract those concerns.

Asking about your age

Employers and prospective employers should not flat out ask you about your age because that certainly sets them up for seeming biased against individuals of a certain age. Still, you could face a roundabout question as the interviewer attempts to glean your age, and if so, you may be able to find ways to work around the question without directly providing your age if you believe it would be an issue.

Missing out on the job

If you do end up missing out on the job and believe that your prospective employer discounted you solely because of your older age or because of unnecessary concerns related to your age, you may have faced age discrimination. Fortunately, you do have options for addressing such wrongdoing, and gaining information on your legal options and how to file a claim in New Jersey may be in your best interests.