Age-bias leaves older workers out of the recovery

Global Business

Age-bias leaves older workers out of the recovery

The U.S. labor market isn’t meeting expectations but it has made dramatic improvement since the global financial crisis. Still, the economic recovery has a secret – older workers and those with resume gaps are being left out.

CGTN’s Karina Huber has more.

Media reports have emerged recently about age bias declining somewhat thanks to the tight job market where the demand for workers is overtaking supply. Companies like Ford and Barclay’s have recruitment programs specifically targeting older workers who have been out of the labor force.

But career counselor Roy Cohen said they don’t guarantee a job at the end of the program.

“Those programs don’t promise employment,” said Career counselor Roy Cohen. “What they do is offer an individual six to eight weeks of employment with the opportunity to evaluate whether or not the individual will be a good fit long term.”

Cohen said age discrimination in hiring is still very much alive despite it being illegal in the United States.

“So Title 7 prohibits discrimination against anyone 40 years and up so that’s really when age claims start in the courts,” Kluger Healey, founding partner for Mark Kluger said.

Mark Kluger is an attorney representing companies in age discrimination lawsuits. He said the new frontier in age discrimination is evident in employment ads placed on social media.

“What we’ve seen in some of these ads is a specific almost disclaimer by Facebook, for example, that say the reason you’re seeing this ad is because you are in the demographic that this entity is looking for,” Kluger said. “That certainly smells like age discrimination.”

Facebook denies it engages in age discrimination. Last month, a U.S. labor union filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile and Amazon for ads it placed on Facebook.

Facebook said it isn’t responsible for its content and that the advertisers bear the responsibility for all claims. Nevertheless, Kluger believes there will be changes.

“I don’t think the advertising in the way that we’re seeing it right now is going to last too long because I think the courts are going to shut it down,” said Kluger.

A promising sign for older workers but litigation alone cannot stop the problem of bias against more senior job-seekers.