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Is your age a factor when the time comes for a promotion?

A promotion at work would mean more responsibility and more decision-making power, and it would also mean a raise in salary. Unfortunately, you were passed over for promotion six months ago, and it looks like a repeat is in the works. Are younger people receiving promotions instead of you?

A little history

You stayed at home to raise your children and rejoined the workforce once the youngest went off to college. You have worked for the same company ever since, and you still enjoy going to the office every day. Over the years, you have witnessed many changes in personnel, and you have to admit that these days, the new hires seem to be getting younger.

Ability versus age

Rumor has it that the twenty-three-year-old who was hired a few months ago is already a top choice for the promotion you would like to have. You have the ability to do the work, but you believe you will once again be passed over because you are nearing retirement age. You have made it clear to your supervisor that you enjoy working and have no plans to leave the company for several more years. However, it is also true that most of the employees nowadays are younger than 35. You overheard someone refer to you as “the old man” recently, which honestly hurt.

A matter of money

A raise in pay is just as important to you at your age as it is to the younger employees. Your spouse is already on Social Security, but she has health issues, and there are plenty of medical bills to pay. Your middle child is going through a divorce and needs some financial help. In short, you were counting on the extra pay a promotion would bring.


The Age Discrimination Employment Act of 1967 prohibits your employer from limiting your employment opportunities because of your age. You should be given every consideration for a promotion and the accompanying salary increase, and if it is found that your rights were indeed violated, your employer can be held liable for damages.

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