The Senior Workforce

June 25th, 2013

The stats on the mature workforce in America

According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) by 2014, 41% of Americans 55 or older will be employed, making up over 21% of the U.S. labor force. For this reason DOL has created a program focusing on the needs of the mature employee. Held annually, the last full week of September, the focus of National Employ Older Workers Week is to increase awareness of the senior work force and “showcase the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), which provides on-the-job skills training to individuals 55 or older with limited financial resources.”

The retirement myth

Is retirement in America is a myth? Financial headlines report that only one in three Americans have savings for retirement. We live in a society that encourages an unbalanced life. Work long hours with no boundaries now so you can retire and not work at all later in life.

The fact is most senior Americans can’t afford to retire or are unwilling to live at poverty level-depending only upon Social Security or their investment income. And many if not most seniors enjoy a balanced work life, finding it not only satisfying but healthy.

The senior workforce reinvents itself

Unfortunately almost two thirds of unemployed workers age 55 and older have been actively job hunting for over a year, and CNN Money calls them the “new unemployables.”

Those stats have led to sites that cater exclusively to the mature worker. Check them out and see if they offer something to meet your needs.

Don’t forget to scout out local job fairs, alumni association meetings, trade and industry shows and chamber of commerce and local government meetings. Keep your eye open for any event where you might make a connection, and develop a relationship that can lead to an open employment door. Volunteering is another option. This can often lead to a job opportunity that is only advertised in-house, plus it provides you the opportunity to hone or upgrade your skill-set while checking out a new career path.

Another option is to check out the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), mentioned above. Online and local partners offer many training opportunities such as the Digital Inclusion Initiative to provide adult learners with online and computer skills.

The good news is that number of temporary and part time jobs is on the rise. These are opportunities to showcase your expertize and develop new job skills.

We at Olympic Staffing Services can help your job search.  We don’t simply fill positions—we build relationships, taking the time to understand your unique talents and qualifications. Contact one of our seasoned team of staffing professionals to learn more about what Olympic Staffing can offer you.





Equal Employment Opportunity Law and Your Job Interview

June 18th, 2013

Have you ever been in an interview situation and wondered if a particular question was discriminatory? Further, just how you should you address those off-limit questions?

Take a few minutes to brush up on your rights as mandated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

What are your rights?

Equal Pay Act of 1963:requires employers to give men and women in the same workplace equal pay for equal work.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964:prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion.

The Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974:requires employers with federal contracts or subcontracts to hire and promote individuals who served in the military during the Vietnam era for 180 or more days. The Vietnam Era years are 1964-1991.See EEOC for more details.

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and 2008 Amendment Act: prohibits discrimination based on disabilities.

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008: prohibits discrimination in group health plan coverage based on genetic information.

The Age Discrimination Act:prohibits employment discrimination against persons aged 40 years or older.

Additionally in 2011, the EEOC included discrimination based on sexual orientation as illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 2012, the EEOC expanded protection provided by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to transgender status and gender identity.

How the Americans with Disabilities Act ties in

If you are covered under the ADA know your rights.

Per the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a service of the Office of Disability Employment Policy of the U.S. Department of Labor, the ADA requires reasonable accommodation in the hiring process.

The following are examples of reasonable accommodations according to the EEOC

  • providing written materials in accessible formats, such as large print, braille, or audiotape
  • providing readers or sign language interpreters
  • ensuring that recruitment, interviews, tests, and other components of the application process are held in accessible locations
  • providing or modifying equipment or devices
  • adjusting or modifying application policies and procedures

Discriminatory practices

Seemingly benign questions in an interview setting can be a violation of employment laws. Examples would be direct questions about age, your marital and family status, religion, or country of origin. Potential employers also cannot ask if you have disabilities or if you smoke or drink.

When you go into an interview keep in mind your rights as listed above.

So how do you handle those questions? It’s always best to gracefully defer to a statement about your skills and qualifications for the job.

If you feel you are being discriminated against in the interview or hiring process, document the interviewer’s name and title. Follow up with their direct supervisor. If you are not satisfied with the outcome do contact your local EEOC field office.

Olympic Staffing Services monitors what is important to you. We address news and legislation that impacts you. Contact one of our seasoned team of staffing professionals to learn more about what Olympic Staffing can offer you.