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Age discrimination often a barrier for older workers

These days, there are certain laws in place federally and across Hawaii that make it illegal to discriminate against you because of your age. Unfortunately, many employers across the state and nation continue to treat those of particular ages differently than others. This can make it hard for you to find or maintain gainful employment.

According to AARP, age discrimination is so prevalent in this country that two-thirds of workers between 45 and 84 claim to have experienced it in the workplace. Additionally, many believe that age is now the single-biggest hurdle preventing jobseekers 35 and older from obtaining employment.

Protections in place

Age discrimination continues to be a serious problem across the nation and Hawaii, despite the fact that there exist certain protections when it comes to this type of treatment. On the federal level, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 bans employers of 20 or more employees from discriminating against you for any age-related reason.

Hawaii’s laws take these protections even further. Hawaii’s HRS Chapter 378 protects you from age discrimination, regardless of how many other people work for your employer and regardless of how old you are. In other words, if, say, a potential employer refuses to hire you because he or she thinks you are too old or too young and you were otherwise the most qualified applicant, you may be able to hold that employer accountable.

Common forms of age discrimination

Age discrimination can take on any number of different forms, but in many cases, it involves a prospective employer not hiring you because of your age. In fact, almost 20% of those who experienced age discrimination said they did so while seeking employment. About 12%, meanwhile, said they missed out on promotions due to age, while about 8% said their age resulted in their employer firing them or laying them off.

Age discrimination in Hawaii is unlawful at the state level, and in many cases, also federally. If you are a victim of it, it may benefit you to take action.

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Law Office of David F. Simons
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