At What Age Does Age Discrimination Begin?

Many corporate executives think it begins at age 50 or older

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Work experience is a valuable asset in finding a new job - up until a certain point. Then many employees find that age rapidly becomes a liability.

Age discrimination has been illegal in the U.S. since 1967. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist in a more subtle form. About 80 percent of executives believe there is moderate or severe age discrimination in the workplace, according to a recent survey of 900 senior level executives age 40 or older by networking and career coaching firm Gray Hair Management. And 73 percent of the executives believe they have lost a job opportunity because of their age.

At what point does age begin to negatively affect hiring decisions? The executives said:

        Before age 50                              24 percent

        Between age 50 and 54             39 percent

        Between age 55 and 59             23 percent

        Age 60 or older                             11 percent

Approximately 1 percent of the executives stated that age is never an issue in hiring decisions.

Note: Totals do not add to 100 percent due to rounding.

Source: Gray Hair Management, 2008.

Tell us, at what age does age discrimination begin?