Workplace discrimination against older workers is illegal, as all employees must be given fair treatment under the law. This means that things like refusing to hire an older worker or firing someone because of their age is a violation of their rights, and employers also can’t discriminate against or harass those workers that they do have on the job.
The reasons for this type of discrimination are often based in myths and misconceptions. To understand why discrimination happens, it can be helpful to understand what these are.
Myths that some employers may believe
If you feel like you’ve been discriminated against, it may be because your employer believes some of the following myths:
- Older workers may be harder for other employees to get along with and may have a poor overall disposition.
- Older workers have no idea how to use technology and will slow everything down as they try to do even the most simplistic technological tasks.
- Older workers suffer from a lack of mental clarity and have an increased risk of issues like dementia.
- Older workers have low production rates and are actively going to make it take longer to accomplish many tasks.
- Older workers aren’t reliable. They may miss work more often or do low-quality work when they are on the clock.
- Older workers do not care about the job that they’re doing and they’re essentially just waiting until they can retire.
The truth, of course, is that older workers can be every bit as valuable as younger workers, and they bring a level of experience that cannot be matched. However, if you feel like your employer has discriminated against you due to the myths noted above, it’s time to look into all of your legal options.