People above a certain age in Minnesota and across the nation will be aware of the possibility that their age could be a hindrance in their employment. Although age discrimination is illegal, it still happens frequently. While justifications could be provided by employers and others in a position of power in a workplace, if there is suspicion or proof that a person’s age had a negative effect on their employment or attempts to get a job, it could be the basis to file a lawsuit to seek their employee rights.

A new study from Hiscox shows that age discrimination is not limited to individuals, but could be a systemic issue. The researchers found that for people over 40, 21 percent were subjected to age discrimination at work. And, 80 percent stated that it hindered their ability to rise in their career.

Simultaneously, 62 percent of workers stated they were untrained in age discrimination for the previous year. A reason given for the lack of training is that age discrimination will frequently be unreported. The study says that 40 percent of those subjected to age discrimination do not report it. Fewer than half of those who witnessed the behavior reported it.

Not only does age discrimination negatively affect the individual, but it can damage the entire workplace. People can lose motivation and reduce productivity, negatively affect treatment of customers and lower the quality of work. People will be more eager to search for another job.

More problematic is that there is an increasing number of older people who remain in the workforce. The median age for workers is just above 42. In the next five years, people older than 55 will be 25 percent of the workforce.

Since age discrimination is not taken as seriously as sexual harassment, racial discrimination and other forms of employment law violations, it could be pushed to the background. Workers who have been discriminated against because of their age should remember that they also have the right to seek compensation in a legal filing.