Ask any American what the traditional age for retirement is in the United States and they will most likely answer “65.” However, during the past two decades, a new trend has emerged. First, it targeted the Baby Boomers, deeming those who are 55 years or older unfit to work. Now it has dropped another 10 years, targeting Gen-Xer’s who are 45 years old and up.
Despite the fact that people aged 45 and up may be fully capable of working at their job for another 20+ years, some companies see them as liabilities. All too often a person between the ages of 45-65 years old finds themselves on the receiving end of a pink slip. At the same time, a younger person is brought in to take the older person’s place. One thing is clear: if a person loses his job for no other reason than his age, it is likely that he is a victim of age discrimination.
Myths surrounding employees and age
Some of the inaccurate stereotypes and myths regarding age discrimination include;
- Older employees are stuck in the stone age. What they learned when they were new to the field no longer applies.
- Workers in their 40’s and up aren’t willing to learn. Technology is constantly evolving but older people don’t want to learn the new stuff.
- People in their 40’s and up are slow. Mentally and physically, Millenials are younger and quicker.
Lumping all employees into any and/or all of these stereotypes is wrong. Anyone who believes that they have been a victim of ageism in the workplace should seek legal guidance.