Depending on who you ask, the oldest Millennials are turning 40 this year. Having just turned 40 two weeks ago myself, I’ve already gone through the various stages of denial, acceptance, and general indifference to the fact that I now have four decades under my belt. But now it seems the old guard who have made a sport out of blaming Millennials for the death of literally everything have something important to accept themselves: Millennials are now old enough to sue for age discrimination.
On Jan. 1, the oldest millennials, born in 1981, will turn 40 and officially become eligible to sue employers under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967.
It may seem silly to fret about age discrimination among a generation long vilified as the embodiment of entitled youth. But research shows that for many millennial women, age discrimination is already a reality — one that will become critical during the recovery from the coronavirus crisis, as discrimination tends to peak during and after recessions.
“Most people aren’t going to face age discrimination at 40, but there will be some women who will be facing age discrimination by then,” said Tulane University economist Patrick Button, an expert on the ADEA and its effects.
The article goes on to highlight one study in which women over 50 got significantly fewer responses than their younger peers among 40,000 resumes sent to U.S. employers, while men showed no such difference in the same age group. By 65, however, both men and women saw “a sharp drop in callbacks,” so I guess we all have that to look forward to down the road.
Oh, and people born in 2000 are old enough to drink now. So yeah, we’re old. Whatever.