Before you run off on your job search, look (and think) before you leap
Increasingly over the past few years, the issue of ageism has been slowly bubbling up into the area of the national (and international) consciousness. For the first time in decades, people are openly discussing ageism, in general, as well as ageism in the workplace.
The good news is that – in the U.S. – ageism in the workplace was given protected status in 1967 – more than a half century ago. Apparently over the past half century, the legislation hasn’t done much good because ageism in the workplace is still a very prominent issue.
What’s more, many legal experts warn that it is very, very difficult for the aggrieved party to prevail in these suits.
Maybe that’s why many activists today are pushing for “tougher” age discrimination laws. The bad news is that details as to what would constitute a “tougher” law have not been forthcoming.
But let’s get practical. Let’s assume that you have been obviously discriminated against by an employer. OK, now what? You get yourself a good lawyer and file a suit. Any guess as to how long it takes that suit to see the inside of a courtroom? Very possibly never. Even if you win, chances are that the employer will appeal and even more months, if not years, will pass.
OK. Let’s say that the employer wants to settle out of court. Great. You win. But what do you win? You get a cash settlement that represents only a fraction of the value of your original suit – and let’s not forget that your lawyer will take 30-40 percent of that.
Then you have to calculate the time it takes to resolve the case; the untold hours that you will spend with your attorney, with their attorneys, etc., etc.
Or, do you just ask yourself, “Do I really want to work for a company (and waste my time on a company) that values its people so lightly?” It may be that, because you need a job today, and because you need to bring home paycheck today, maybe you’re just better off moving on.