Today’s civilization is a world, in which young age is associated with being quicker, shrewder, more competent, more industrious, and being a less burden of the organization. Recently, the contemporary society has adopted the age discrimination against the older Americans in order to rationalize the economic and cost-effective requirements of the market, in general. Reaching an old age can become a disheartening experience because of the fear for further employment. The age discrimination in employment should not be an issue that an older person of the labor age has to fear; nevertheless, currently, it is one of the most popular forms of discrimination. This research paper analyzes the meaning of discrimination and age discrimination, in particular; the present-day laws concern the phenomenon of the age discrimination and the incidence of such discrimination. In addition, the paper explores some advantages and disadvantages of the older labor force, and some approaches to prevent any age discrimination at the working place.
Age Discrimination at the Workplace
Firstly, the notion of discrimination means depriving somebody of any benefits or rights because of subjective reasons such as race, sex, religion, age, etc. Discrimination considers the classes instead of the personal virtues. Several different types of discrimination can be seen at various workplaces, such as the ones of the gender, age, skin color, religious beliefs, country, and race. Specifically, the age discrimination refers to a biased or uneven treatment of a member of staff by an employer because of his or her age. Facing any kind of discrimination is a challenge, with which the workers have to fight.
As employees become older, they join a vulnerable social group that has to be secured against any prejudicial or unjust treatment. The age factor can be the basis in the court of law for a harassment claim. Nevertheless, the United States Supreme Court failed to rule whether a worker can go to court for the age harassment under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act or not. However, the federal appellate and trial courts have reported that a claim for the age harassment does exist in the judicial context.
Today, the number of the age harassment claims increases due to a worker’s age-biased remarks by the management and colleagues. The worker provides the remarks as the evidence that the age was the reason for the hostile environment and prejudiced decisions. Even if the workers do not claim the age harassment, they can employ it in order to prove that the employer was unfair because of the age prejudice.
The Current Laws on the Age Discrimination
According to AARP (2014), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is a federal law that protects the employees’ rights in any organization. Additionally, the law covers all the job applicants of forty and above age from the age discrimination. The Act considers the people of all ages and allows setting the particular age frames and other qualities of the applicants, which meet the Act's demands. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act is not applied to the elected bureaucrats, autonomous contractors, and military staff (Morgeson, Reider, Campion, & Bull, 2008). Moreover, the law does not consider employers with more than twenty employees, public service organizations, federal bodies, state and local administration, as well as labor organizations having at least twenty-five exceptions (AARP, 2014).
Protection and Benefits of the Laws
As stated by AARP (2014), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act prohibits any age discrimination in decisions regarding numerous issues: contracting, dismissal, layoffs, remuneration, welfares, promotions, demotions, performance appraisals, or any other affairs at the workplace. Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, organizations cannot use the age factor in hiring or firing employees or name a specific age is perfect in their job advertisements. It is a debatable but not an unlawful issue to request the birthdate or graduation year in the job application. On the other hand, the companies cannot set the age restrictions for the training platforms, strike back against the employees who file charges because of age discrimination, and forcing the employees retire at specific age (Henry & Jennings, 2004).
The law also forbids issuing any rules and regulations that can have a negative impact on the older personnel; most of them seem to be age-neutral although being more austerely on the aged employees. An illustration is a school that claims it will never employ teachers with over-twenty-years work experience. The rules and activities that have an unreasonably negative effect on the older employees are illegal unless the employer can confirm they target the goal other than the age discrimination.
Besides, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act provides people with the chance to take part in the employer’s benefit plans considering the age aspect (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, n. d.). The company’s management also can never decrease the benefits taking age as the decisive factor, except in the case the cost of offering the benefit increases with age. Under these circumstances, the employer must spend the same cost for giving the welfares to the older employees as it does for the young personnel in order to adhere to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. For instance, the cost of giving life insurance rises with the age; therefore, an employer does not infringe the Age Discrimination in Employment Act if the company spends the same amount of money to purchase the same life insurance for young and old employees despite the younger workers getting greater coverage for the same premium.
In line with AARP (2014), it is unlawful to discriminate people on the basis of their age at the workplace and any public service. The instances of discrimination can include unpleasant remarks concerning someone’s age. Even though the law does not criminalize simple teasing, casual remarks, or rare cases of a middle character, harassment is unlawful when it is so recurrent or humiliating that it creates an aggressive or hostile working atmosphere. The harasser can be the casualty's manager, co-worker, and other people, for example, a customer, as well as a company’s policy meant for everybody, irrespective of age. Therefore, any harassment is unlawful if it has an undesirable impact on the workers and focuses on any subjective classification (Henry & Jennings, 2004).
Today’s Age Discrimination Prevalence
AARP (2014) states that the age discrimination at the workplace becomes a complicated challenge to most workers; therefore, it should be effectively addressed as soon as possible. The cases of the age discrimination were reported during the Great Recession. Even today, it is rather challenging to win a filed complaint on the concern. However, several ways can be applied to solve the case. The age discrimination has developed into a global concern that influences the effectiveness at the workplace. A number of companies prefer younger employees to work in their organizations, believing that they will ensure better production and will strive for stiff competition. On the other hand, some organizations prefer older workers since, as a rule, they are more knowledgeable and committed employees. Although the older employees may be somewhat maltreated, the today's philosophy proves that the younger employees are shrewder and focused on the success.
With the older workers in play, the organizations have discovered the fact that, as a person gets older, his or her productivity decreases for numerous reasons with the key cause being age. Organizations also have to spend a lot on the older workers because of the frequent health concerns. They consider that an older employee will have higher rates of truancy and revenue while performing at the lower levels as compared to their younger colleagues.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Older Workforce
Ivancevich and Konopaske (2013) pay attention to the application of Human Resource Management methodologies in the existent organizational situations and states. First of all, the primary advantage is that the older workforce is more skilled because they might have been working for the company for a long period; consequently, they have the valuable background and skills. Older employees seem to have bigger salaries and better welfares; therefore, some organizations choose younger employees since they are more economical. Ivancevich and Konopaske (2013) consider this situation the wage discrimination practice, which costs the organizations time and money since it leads to decreased productivity and quality.
The older employees usually follow the idea that the tasks have to be performed completely and flawlessly in order to get an effective result. The workers have to be practical in their job; they pledge their loyalty and commitment to the company. On the other hand, other companies desire younger workers because they strive for excellence, and always desire to make a good impression, and have a motivation to establish a new life in their households. As a result, the youngsters are inexpensive and flexible workers; their readiness and willingness to learn new for the improvement of their life conditions. Sometimes, the younger personnel are discriminated against by the older employees because of their inexperience and recent graduation from schools or colleges. The younger workers can easier acclimatize in the working atmosphere and acquire knowledge in the modern technology if some organizational training are performed.
The Methods of Preventing the Age Discrimination at the Workplace
Ivancevich and Konopaske (2013) explore the managerial orientation, supporting the consideration that the Human Resource Management is crucial for the managers in all units, teams, or groups. The organizations can take some actions in order to ensure that the age discrimination is not a challenge in any company units; for example, it can prepare some training concerning the age discrimination as a growing concern for the modern business world. In addition, the management should re-evaluate the approaches towards the older employees at the workplace and review the corporate policies, training programs, recruiting techniques, and assessments in order to avoid any prejudiced considerations and consequences.
Moreover, the companies should consider the implementation of the preventative trainings on the age bias, conducting an audit for evaluating the organization's culture and discover how the staff feels about the older employees and how those ideas influence the workplace. The companies should launch the new strategies to involve the older adult personnel and build moral and effective production schemes by proving the older employees that they are valued.
In conclusion, the workers frequently undergo common challenging problems in the Human Resource Management like recruitment, training, efficiency, and job security, as well as the conflict resolution. It is very challenging to eliminate discrimination from the labor market since each organization has diverse groups of employees with different features. The age discrimination at the workplace and some of the seeming advantages and disadvantages of an older labor force calls for the need to mitigate the condition as soon as possible. In addition, the approaches discussed are strongly recommended for the companies that aim at successful production and workers’ satisfaction. Therefore, the employers should understand the meaning of the age discrimination phenomenon and be aware of the laws. Moreover, they should change their outlooks accordingly. Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the company employees have access to the employer’s benefit plans owing to their age.