The Age Discrimination in Employment Act & What You Need to Know

A piece in today’s New York Post reminded us to share information about age discrimination. So many times job seekers may say they removed their year of graduation from college or even nipped and tucked a few jobs so it wouldn’t look like they were overqualified in the work force for two or three decades.

While we think the experience is golden and may be the reason why you get considered for a job in the first place, aging itself can create topics for discussion. For instance, a reader is approaching the age of 40 and his or her father indicated form his own experience it’s very difficult to get promoted after that milestone birthday.

To set the record straight, Gregory Giangrande, chief human resources officer at Time, Inc., explained:

“He may have been referring to a law Congress passed in 1967, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. This act actually protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from discrimination, with respect to any term, condition or privilege of employment — including hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments and training.”

Even though the law is intact, some people may point a finger to not advancing at work or not getting a new job based on their age. He adds, “The fact is, 40 may have been considered “old” in employment terms a half-century ago when the law was written, but it’s a ridiculous threshold today and needs to be revised.” 

So it’s important to not get caught up with age. After all, it’s merely a number. Instead of focusing on that, look forward being an active contributor on your team, a productive employee and quintessential leader. Be friendly and cordial, professional and polished, and most of all, positive. Your work and everything you pour into it should speak for itself.