Age discrimination is widespread, especially in the tech industry

Age discrimination at work is widespread according to recent studies, especially at big tech firms.

It has been more than 50 years since the Age Discrimination in Employment Act became law and made workplace discrimination on the basis of age illegal. However, despite age discrimination being clearly against the law, it remains pervasive at workplaces, especially in the tech industry. As MarketWatch reports, a recent study found that 90 percent of workers aged 45 and over say that age discrimination is common and most have experienced it themselves.

Age discrimination remains pervasive

The report, by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), used data by the AARP to find how age discrimination complaints have changed in recent years. The report cautions that formal complaints made to bosses or government agencies are an unreliable measure of determining the scope of the problem. That's because only three percent of age discrimination incidents are actually reported.

The most common type of complaint relates to firings. Allegations of age discrimination in firings accounted for 55 percent of all age discrimination complaints in 2017. Harassment claims, however, have become far more prevalent, growing from just six percent of age-related complaints in 1992 to 21 percent in 2017.

Studies have also shown that nearly 90 percent of workers who are over 45 say that age discrimination is common at their workplaces. About 60 percent of those workers say that they themselves have been victims of age discrimination.

Ageism rife in tech

The tech industry is particularly notorious for age discrimination. In fact, the chances of landing a tech job drop steeply for those who are out of their 20s. Silicon Valley and Triangle tech companies, for example, have been accused of using age-restricted employment ads on Facebook as a way of excluding older job applicants.

As the News & Observer reports, IBM has been a particular focus of age-related discrimination complaints in recent years, both in North Carolina and across the country. The company employs thousands of people in the Triangle, but has cut tens of thousands of jobs in recent years. A lawsuit recently filed in Texas against the tech giant alleges that 60 percent of jobs cut in recent years have been held by those aged 40 or over.

Employment law help

Discrimination in the workplace is unacceptable, but it is widespread. Those who may have been victims of employment discrimination should contact an attorney for help today. An experienced attorney can help clients fight for their rights and assist them with pursuing any claims they may have against a former or current employer.