Age discrimination in the workplace applies to every stage of the employment process, from the recruiting and hiring steps to the review and promotion stages. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects workers aged 40 or older from age-related discrimination. Despite those laws, age discrimination still happens.
There are a few common misconceptions that fuel many instances of age discrimination in the workplace.
Older workers do not lack mental acuity
One common misconception is that older workers are slower in thoughts, reactions and cognitive processing than their younger counterparts. The truth is that older workers have just as much mental acuity as younger ones, especially when those older workers have been consistently employed and active.
Technology does not leave older workers behind
There is a widespread perception that older workers are unable to adapt to new technology, leaving them behind their younger co-workers because they cannot grasp the new features. Older workers can learn about and adapt to technology just as easily as anyone else and many are active on social media and informed of the latest trends.
Older workers are not inherently slow
You might notice people slowing down as they get older and assume that older adults in the workplace slow down and do not work as quickly as younger employees. The truth is that age is not an automatic factor in productivity and work speed.
Protect your rights by recognizing some of the most common factors that contribute to age discrimination. The better informed you are, the easier it is to spot signs.