PUBLISHED: 2:57 PM on Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Study shows many mature workers face discrimination
Older workers and their employers need to be on the lookout for unfair treatment or age discrimination in the workplace.

Twenty-one percent of mature workers (age 50 and older) reported they have experienced discrimination or unfair treatment in the workplace, according to a new nationwide survey by and Kelly Services, conducted by Harris Interactive. More than one-third of these respondents said they experience such treatment at least once a week. Of those who reported the discrimination or unfair treatment to their employers, close to 63 percent said the offender was not held accountable.

"Employers cannot lose sight of the valuable contributions mature workers bring to the workplace. They are an important resource in fostering a healthy, balanced, diverse work culture," said Nina Ramsey, senior vice president of Human Resources at Kelly Services.

According to the study, entitled "Diversity in the Workplace," the most common incidents of discrimination or unfair treatment involved:

• Co-workers talking behind the worker's back.

• Not receiving credit for their work.

• Not being given projects that provide worker with more visibility in the company.

• Feeling that concerns are not addressed or taken seriously.

• Overlooked for a promotion.

• Felt that they were not given the same training as other workers.

• Felt ideas or input were generally ignored.

• Co-workers said derogatory comments to them or in front of them.

When asked why those being discriminated against stay with their current employer, 67 percent of mature workers said they couldn't afford to quit while more than half (52 percent) thought it was likely they would encounter the same discrimination or unfair behavior at another company. The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive.