More than 40 years ago, Congress enacted the Age Discimination in Employment Act which forbids workplace discrimination being practiced against anyone over 40 years old. But in 2018, two thirds of workers aged 55-64 report that their age is a barrier to them getting a job. Their is a signficiant amount of discrimination going on in this country against people in this age group. And I, George L. Hiegel, am one of those who have been discriminated. against.
Last year in 2017, there were 84,254 workplace discrimination complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Of these complaints, 21.8% of them were aged based. But when it happens to you, the discrimination is hard to prove. Employers are not going to come right out and tell you. But it does happen. And it has happened to me.
I have no trouble getting interviews for jobs I apply for. This is because employers are looking at releventjob skills and experience in a particular field on a piece of paper. When they call you for an interview, it is possible they know everything about you except one thing. Your age. Then when you show up, they see you are an older person and you can be rejected for the job even before the interview has started.
I recently had a full time job in the health care industry, but it was a temporary contracted job. So, it came time for me to find another job. My resume was good enough to land several interviews within the health care field. But none of them led to me being hired. I did get a full time job. But it was with the U.S. Postal Service. I had no previous experience with the U.S. Postal Service. I applied for a job, took and passed their test, got an interview, and was hired all in a short period of time. What was the difference? Because they are a federal employer, they will not discriminate against you because of your age. So, in the field where I had numerous relatable job skills and experience, I could not get hired. But in a field where I had no relatable job skills and experience, I was hired.
What I find amusing in my experience with age discrimantion is that the ones discriminating against me are women. Except for doctors, the majority of health care field employees are women. And oftentimes, the HR people and hiring managers are older women. So, you have women, who have long had to endure discrimination in the workplace, discriminating against people in the workplace. Hilarious, isn’t it? No human being wants to be discrimated against. Yet, so many of them do not have any qualms about discriminating against anyone outside of themselves.
Employers often like to complain that younger people lack a strong work ethic and are not reliable, dependable, and dedicated as they should be. But then when they have an older person who possesses all of the good qualities they are looking for in an employee, they do not want to hire them. It is any wonder then that so many businesses are mismanaged and fall far short of becoming the best company they could possibly be.
As for me, I start my job at the post office on the 11th of June. My time in the health care field just might be at an end.