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Older workers can face age discrimination

You always thought that your experience would help you when it came time to find a new job. After all, your lack of experience when you were a young worker really stood in your way. At 50 years old, you were at least looking forward to having a stronger resume.

But does that experience make it easier to find a job, or are you now going to run into discrimination based on your age when you look for a new job?

It does happen. One woman said she had to find a new job in her late 40s. She sent out resumes and applied for jobs, but she couldn't get interviews or job offers.

That's when her husband noted that her resume made her sound fairly old. He suggested, as nicely as he could, that her age may be working against her.

To test it, she took out all references to her age. She left her experience intact, but she did not say when she started working in her field, how long she stayed with different employers or when she finished college or high school. She tried to make it impossible for prospective employers to tell that she was approaching 50.

As soon as she did it, she started to get responses. She had three offers for new jobs in the coming weeks.

While that story may make it sounds like she succeeded -- and she did -- it also illustrates a darker point: Older workers can face discrimination. It's not supposed to happen, but it clearly does. Those who are discriminated against because of their age need to know what legal options they have.

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