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Why Age Discrimination Is Worse for Women

Posted by Kathy Harrington-Sullivan | Mar 14, 2016 | 0 Comments

With people living longer lives, there is a higher demand for jobs from older people of both sexes. However, when it comes to finding a new job opportunity, especially for those in their late forties and older, it can be challenging. Both older men and women face potential age discrimination in the workplace in numerous industries, although women tend to experience it more than men.

There are several reasons why age discrimination can be worse for women. For out-of-work women who are looking to rejoin the workforce, age discrimination is hard to document because the laws are not always effective.

Even though an older woman could be fully qualified for a potential position, it is not uncommon for them to receive significantly fewer callbacks for interviews and job offers. Rather, should they get an interview and get through the interview process, potential employers tend to use excuses, like “there was a more qualified applicant,” or “we chose someone else who we felt would be a better fit with our organization.”

Another reason why women experience age discrimination more frequently is because potential employers consider factors like overall health, salary requirements, and benefit costs. In many cases, from an employer perspective, it can cost less to hire a young female, fresh out of college. Since most millennials switch jobs every few years, it gives companies the option to offer lower starting salaries, compared to a well-experienced older woman, who would ideally remain with the company until retirement.

Further, most retirement-based plans require employees to have worked for a specific period of time before employers will contribute toward the plans. For older women who are more likely to keep a job once they get one, it can mean the employer will eventually have to contribute toward their retirement. Whereas, with a millennial, most likely any employer contributions will be significantly less due to shorter employment periods.

Age discrimination is not limited to only older women seeking to rejoin the workforce. Older women in current positions could discover they are being replaced with a new, younger employee or their position is being “eliminated” or “phased-out.” Only then they discover later, from former co-workers, their position was reinstated and someone much younger was hired. In other cases, their boss can make offending remarks about their age or appearance.

While employers tend to downplay age discrimination, it is against the law. There are various reasons or excuses employers will make, but, ultimately, these are forms of age discrimination. If you or a loved one believes you were discriminated against by an employer due to your age, it is in your best interests to speak to a qualified age discrimination lawyer at Barrett & Farahany, LLP. Call our law firm today at (404) 238-7299. You will immediately be connected to an attorney specialized in age discrimination who will answer your questions, at no charge to you (a $350 value).

About the Author

Kathy Harrington-Sullivan

Kathy Harrington Sullivan is a Partner at Barrett & Farahany who helps potential clients understand the law, clarify their rights, and determine which steps they can take to protect themselves and their jobs.


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