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Bias against older job applicants must be stopped

It is obvious from Megan Woolhouse’s article that Roger Ahlfeld is another victim of age discrimination (“For those long out of work, prospects may only get worse,” Page A1, June 17). The man has 20 years of experience and is unable to obtain employment after looking for two years? A front-page story by Woolhouse in March illustrated the plight of three other experienced middle-aged men who could not find work.

As someone who has been laid off three times, I know the trials of looking for work after the age of 40. I often was passed over for jobs, only to see younger, less experienced workers hired in my place. Often these individuals didn’t even meet the minimum qualifications listed in the job posting. Being told that you are “overqualified” or that you wouldn’t want a certain job because it is below the pay scale you are accustomed to is no solace to someone who needs a job to survive.

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A friend who has been out of work for three years has told me he has brought this up to staff at the unemployment office and has been told that they know this type of discrimination is going on. What I want to know is what officials plan to do about this.

Steve Knapp


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