A new survey has found that 11% of workers over the age of 45 have experienced ageism on the job. This is in spite of the fact that it is illegal for employers in Massachusetts and elsewhere to discriminate based on a worker's age. Discrimination can take many forms such as not getting hired for a job or being demoted by an employer. It is generally accepted that ageism begins when a worker approaches age 50.
Massachusetts residents may have seen an increase in the number of employees who are 65 years old and older. There are a number of reasons for this increase. One reason has to do with the fact that people are simply living longer. This means seniors are worried that they may actually burn out their retirement savings before they die. This increase in older workers entering the workforce has not changed the hiring policies of a lot of companies.
Workers in Massachusetts and throughout the country are generally protected against age discrimination. However, this doesn't mean that employers don't factor in age when deciding who to keep or terminate. Recent lawsuits against companies such as Citibank and IBM show that even large companies are not immune to this practice. One man tried to change his legal age from 69 to 49, citing age discrimination as one of his motivations for doing so.
A posting for a job in Massachusetts or anywhere else in the country must meet certain guidelines. For instance, it generally cannot be discriminatory against a protected class. Furthermore, postings cannot claim that a worker will be an independent contractor if he or she is actually treated like an employee. This is important partially because independent contractors are required to withhold their own taxes, and they also aren't entitled to insurance or other benefits like employees are.
The healthcare sector forms a significant part of the economy in Massachusetts. Healthcare workplaces have also been identified as hotbeds of sexual harassment. The Time's Up movement that originally formed in 2018 to help people in the entertainment industry combat sexual harassment has expanded operations to support healthcare workers. The movement's leadership made this move in response to the large numbers of medical workers who asked the organization for legal help.
The tech industry in Massachusetts and all over the country continues to face claims of discrimination against women and minorities. According to a complaint filed by the Department of Labor, discriminatory practices at leading tech company Oracle have cost black, Asian and female employees more than $400 million in lost wages over a four-year period.