Fighting Age Discrimination at Workplace

Do companies choose younger and less “expensive” job candidates over older and more experienced applicants.

Does age discrimination harm women in the workforce more than men?

The study was conducted by David Neumark, who is a professor of economics at the University of California, Irvine, and two other economists. They sent out 40,000 resumes for thousands of real jobs. The resumes for any given job were identical except for age.

The call-back rate — the rate by which employers contact us and say we’d like to interview you — drops from young applicants to middle-aged applicants and drops further from middle-aged applicants to older applicants,” Neumark says.

He also found the results were worse for older women than for older men. For women, he says, “the call-back rates dropped by around a quarter when you go from the young group to the middle-aged group. … And they drop by another quarter when you go from the middle-age group to … around age 65.

Most people believe age discrimination begins when workers hit their 50s, according to AARP research of workers between the ages of 45 and 74. Still, 22 percent believe it begins even earlier, when workers hit their 30s and 40s. And 17 percent say they think it begins in one’s 60s.

Age discrimination is an act of treating people, usually applicants or employees less favourably due to his or her age. It is sometimes called Ageism which also means the stereotyping and discriminating against individuals or groups on the basis of their age. This is an act that is against the law as employers are not allowed to hire, fire, promote, or decide an employee’s compensation based on their age.

The truth is that age discrimination can and does have negative impact on the working process of an organisation. Not only does it affect the positive working relationship between workers, it can cause you system to face legal problems. Some ways by which age discrimination negatively affects your organisation includes:

Loss of Experience: This is the most obvious damage you can have from age discrimination. If your company discriminate against current employees due to their old age, then you are likely to lose some people who have been there from the onset and people who actually understands the industry.

Productivity: Discriminating against your employee’s age creates an unfriendly working environment, as workers tend to develop negative feeling about the management. This makes them have less interested in achieving the company goals. And this in turn has negative effect on productivity.

Legal Problems: Age discrimination against current workers or applicants is strictly against the federal law. As a result, an employee can decide to sue your business for illegally discriminating their age, resulting in your company paying some large funds and a bad public profile for your company.

Loss of Workers: Age discrimination can cause the loss of workers. This is because, although they are not affected, workers may feel they are the next target of discrimination and this makes them seek a new job. When you lose workers, your production drops and you will lose skill, experience and potential of your employees to your competitors

What do you need to know to:

Age discrimination may happen (and is illegal) at any stage of employment, including during hiring, promotions, raises and layoffs. The law also prohibits workplace harassment, by coworkers, supervisors or clients, because of age. The ADEA applies to employers that have at least 20 employees; some states have stronger protections.

Discriminatory conduct may include any of the following:

  1. Refuse to hire;
  2. Discipline;
  3. Fire;
  4. Deny training;
  5. Fail to promote;
  6. Pay less or demote; or
  7. Harass.

There are certain steps you need to take if you believe that you are a victim of discrimination at your workplace: 

In a discrimination case, making an internal complaint also puts the company on notice of the problem. If the company then fails to take effective action to improve the situation, you might have a stronger argument for punitive damages: damages intended to punish an employer for egregious behavior, which can be the largest part of a damages award in a discrimination lawsuit.

File an Administrative Charge

Before you can bring a discrimination or harassment lawsuit under federal law, you must file an administrative charge with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a similar state agency. This is a legal requirement: If you file a lawsuit without first having filed a charge (called “exhausting” your administrative remedies, legally speaking), your lawsuit will be thrown out.

Many states also require employees to file an administrative complaint with the state’s fair employment practices agency before filing a discrimination or harassment lawsuit based on state law.

Once you file a charge, the EEOC or agency will notify your employer. The agency might dismiss your charge, investigate, request that you and your employer try to settle or mediate the dispute, or take other action. Unless the agency decides to file a lawsuit on your behalf (an extraordinarily rare occurrence), it will eventually finish processing your claim and issue you a right to sue letter.

Filing a Lawsuit

Once you receive your right to sue letter from the state or federal administrative agency, you may file a lawsuit.

Consult with attorney to find out if you have a claim and entitle to recovery!


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