Is Age Discrimination Legal in Virginia?

Is age discrimination legal in Virginia? 1/4 of American workers are 55 or older, and yet, age discrimination persists in the workplace. Unfortunately, this keeps many people out of certain jobs. Older workers are facing longer periods of unemployment, more stressful job hunts, and crushing financial stress. So, is this legal? If not, what can be done about it?


What’s Going On?


During the pandemic, many older Americans left the workforce. In some cases, this was due to health concerns. For others, they started the retirement process early. Now, with COVID less of a concern and the workplace returning to normal, many of these older people are looking for work again.


According to AARP, workers over 50 are unemployed for three times as long as their younger counterparts. This is due to roadblocks when it comes to finding work. Furthermore, older workers typically send out a much larger volume of applications to get offers than their younger counterparts.


Understanding Ageism


Ageism, or age discrimination, is unfortunately still prevalent in the American workplace. More than 40% of workers over the age of 40 report that they’ve experience age discrimination. Additionally, almost 40% say ageism is their top concern when trying to find a job. Why? Because employers openly admit to looking for younger employees. Almost 50% of employers say they’re worried about older workers not having tech skills.


If you read through most job descriptions, they use phrases like “tech savvy” and “digital native”. This makes it seem like older workers shouldn’t even apply. What’s more, job applications generally ask for a birth date or graduation year, sparking more fears among older applicants that they’ll be screened out.


Why It Matters


Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of older workers in the labor force who defy the stereotypes about physical fitness and tech savviness. They also tend to score highly in soft skills, like professionalism and reliability. Furthermore, they often have even more valuable skills that pertain to struggling industries.


A great example is accounting. Roughly 300,000 accountants have left the workforce in the last several years, mostly due to retirement, and the supply of new accountants is quite low. This talent is concentrated among older workers. The same is true for many of the trades, like carpentry or even aviation tech.


Bottom Line- Age Discrimination in Virginia


The workforce is full of older people and that section of workers will continue to grow in the next decade. Since Americans tend to live longer, and work longer, older workers will continue to be a valuable, and vital part of the workplace.


If you feel that you have been fired, passed over for promotion, treated unfairly, or not hired due to your age, you may want to speak to an attorney about your case. Contact Cook, Craig, and Francuzenko today to speak to an age discrimination attorney.

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