Is this ageism at work?

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2021 | Employment Law

Employers across the country have taken strides in recent years to keep their employees happy and protected while on the job. This includes providing protection from discrimination and harassment.

But unfortunately, both of these issues still occur as it is difficult to constantly monitor all employee behavior. So what can you do if you notice signs that you think might indicate ageism at play?

Manifestations of ageism among management

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission takes a look at how ageism can manifest at work. First, know that it can manifest both among peers and fellow employees, as well as in upper management.

In management, this serves as a problematic issue because it actually gets in the way of a worker’s ability to gain promotions or raises at times. For example, a shift manager might deem an older worker unfit for a certain position because of perceived stereotypes against older workers. They might pass over a worker due to age, even if they have the years of experience and the skill necessary for it.

In more blatant cases, many older workers also get passed up for customer or even client-facing positions because they do not have a young enough look. This issue particularly plagues women in the workforce.

Harassment based on age

Even coworkers and fellow employees can engage in discriminatory behaviors, though. For one, they can make crude and unkind remarks about an employee based on their age. This alone can create an uncomfortable, toxic work environment.

Older employees facing this harassment may seek refuge under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), which serves to protect workers over 40 years of age.

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