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EDI Workers Over 50

Written by Ken Kinlock
Published on Thursday, 09 February 2012
Andy Rooney, photographed by Stephenson Brown.

Why does there tend to be a bias against hiring older workers? Does this bias come from the hiring companies or the agencies?


We will be interviewing a senior person in a placement agency, who was previously a human resources manager in a large multi-national company. This will be VERY interesting. When I first approached her, her comment to me was “How did you know I was over 50?”

Some of the questions we will cover are:
  1. Why does there tend to be a bias against hiring older workers?
  2. The good and the bad.
  3. Does this bias come from the hiring companies or the agencies?
  4. Legal implications?
Computerworld has written on the subject of age bias. As they say “Some consider it IT's dirty little secret, or even IT's big open secret.” They even suggest 40 instead of 50. Most high-tech employers would likely deny that age discrimination is an issue at their company. But many IT workers over 50 beg to differ, saying they have experienced age bias or know someone who has.

The bias can take several forms, they say. Their salaries might stagnate. They might have few or no opportunities for  advancement. They might not be included in training and professional development programs. And they could be the first to be laid off and the last to be hired.

One of the biggest supporters of over 50 workers is the AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). They are also a great source for how to get and keep jobs, and they rank the companies that are the best employers for  workers over 50. They also address what you can (and can't) do about age bias. They understand your rights, and the attitudes you may face.

For more than six decades — and more than six recessions — Andy Rooney, 92, held on to his job. It’s a feat today’s recession-weary older workers, who aren’t even near retirement, may be envying.

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