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Why do some older adults face age discrimination?

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2023 | Workplace Discrimination

Aging brings certain unavoidable changes, such as wrinkles and reading glasses. Yet there is no reason it should also bring age discrimination. 

Federal law’s Age Discrimination Act of 1975 makes age discrimination against anyone over 40 illegal, but unfortunately, it is still a common occurrence. Here are some ways it may manifest:

Some employers assume older adults cannot collaborate with younger bosses 

In many workplaces, supervisors or managers are older than their direct reports. So when a job candidate wants to apply for a position where they would be older than their boss, some individuals believe said applicant might not want to take orders from them. Therefore, the employer refuses to hire the prospective employee. 

There’s the belief that all older adults aren’t up to date with technology 

While some older adults struggle with technology, others are incredibly adept or at least open to learning. Besides, some younger people struggle with technology as well. Employers need to examine people’s capabilities individually, not generalize about a whole age group. 

An employer might think an older hire will need more time off for illness

Many employers don’t want to hire older people because they believe they are more likely to need time off due to ailments like respiratory issues, fractures and heart disease. However, chronic health issues aren’t limited to seniors since many young people battle health problems, too. 

All workers deserve equal treatment regardless of their age. If you or someone you know is dealing with age discrimination, consider legal guidance to understand your options.