What is Ageism?
Ageism is when an employer discriminates against or treats an employee unfairly because of their age.
Examples of Ageism would include:
-Firing employees once they reach a certain age
-Only offering learning opportunities for younger workers
-Leaving older employees out of company activities
-Passing over employees for promotions or raises based off age
Companies with 20 or more employees are held to the ADEA (Age Discrimination Employment Act) standards which protects individuals of the age 40 and older. Age is a protected class and therefore, employers cannot discriminate against employees based on their age. The first step towards eliminating ageism in the workplace is realizing what it is and identifying potential problems within your company. Encourage employees to speak up if they experience or witness age discrimination so the problem can be handled immediately.
How do we avoid ageism in the workplace?
-Refrain from any comments that are age related in all areas of the workplace
-Train employees on Age Discrimination, Stereotypes, and Diversity
-Provide the same trainings for all ages
-Post the company’s Age Discrimination policy on a bulletin board
-Pair younger and older employees together for projects
-Focus on skills and avoid age cutoffs for promotions