No employee should be subjected to discrimination in the workplace — and a lot of attention is given to sexism and racism in various industries. However, those are not the only forms of discrimination that happens.
One form of discrimination that is frequently overlooked is ageism. Essentially, ageism amounts to the stereotyping or discrimination of people based on their age. The emotional impacts of discrimination can be catastrophic. Thus, it is important to consider some of the more common signs of ageism at work.
When older workers are forced out
There are a number of ways in which employers could try to get rid of the older workforce while attempting to evade anti-discrimination laws. Older workers may be asked to leave the company, only to be replaced by younger employees within a very short time period. One way that employers try to get around the law is by making minor adjustments to the job titles and roles for the new employees. A repetitive pattern of older employees being replaced by younger individuals could be a sign that ageism is a problem in your place of work.
Humor can often make the working day seem less stressful. However, there are times where jokes can cross the line into discrimination. For example, older workers may be constantly subjected to jokes about how their memory is disappearing with age, or that they should have retired already. On the face of it, these may be intended as humor, but they can result in significant emotional pain for the subjects.
The workplace should remain free from workplace discrimination, including ageism. If you have been a victim of discrimination or harassment, there are legal options open to you.