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Age discrimination in the workplace

Workers in California who are over the age of 40 need to be aware of age discrimination laws. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, these federal laws are in place to protect those who are discriminated in a variety of employment areas. These include hiring, termination, promotions, pay, benefits, job assignments and layoffs.

The law also protects employees from being harassed due to their age. Harassment is considered to be frequent derogatory or offensive language that creates a hostile environment. Harassment can come from a direct or indirect supervisor, a co-worker or client.

Although laws and regulations are in place for protection, violations can be hard to prove, according to Forbes. Cases related to failure to hire are especially challenging because they are almost impossible to prove, especially if the person who is eventually hired is qualified. To prevent immediate disqualification, some older applicants leave off the first ten years or so from their work history so their age is hard to estimate.

Rather than depend on a resume to sell an applicant's ability, it is recommended that older jobseekers demonstrate their skills and value in the interview. They should know enough about the company that they can talk about their specific ability to help. The one thing those over 40 bring to the table is experience, and this can help them stand out over the younger applicants and give them a better chance of being hired. Known as pain interviewing, this strategy can give older applicants an edge over the competition. 

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