Age discrimination in employment, also known as job ageism, is a complex issue which impacts on many areas of Government policy and can have many implications for individuals themselves. Age discrimination can occur across the whole spectrum of employment and can affect both younger and older people. It can affect a person’s chances of getting a job, as well as their chances of promotion or development when in work. Age can also be a factor when employers decide who should be selected for termination.
Ageism seems to be more common in the workplace than racism or sexism. Although only about 20% Of all complaints filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are for age discrimination, settlements and jury awards are substantially higher in such cases than in those for race, sex or disability discrimination (Age Discrimination, 1999). Older people are accused of lacking energy and flexibility, while young people lack experience. Many people are refused the opportunity to show whether or not they have what it takes because of their age. These people are being robbed of their employment opportunities.
Definition of Age Discrimination
There can be both direct and indirect forms of age discrimination in employment. The most obvious forms are where people hold strong, stereotypical views about a person’s capabilities to do a job or to be developed because of their age. For instance, an employer could regard all 18 year olds as immature and incapable of managing older staff, even if they have the right qualifications and experience for the job. On the other hand, an employer could consider all those over 50 to be incapable of learning about new technology, because “that’s something that young...
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