Discrimination and harassment are getting a lot of attention nowadays. Despite this, ageism is often left out of discrimination discussions as race and gender take a larger role. Ageism is discrimination against older members of the workforce in favor of younger workers. Not only is this wrong, but in some cases it may also be illegal. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects employees who are age 40 or older against discrimination in the workplace. The law applies to private employers who have 20 or more employees. Here are ways to prevent age discrimination in your workplace:
Be Inclusive in Your Hiring Process
Many employers are accidentally discriminatory in their hiring process. Some employers create plans for diverse hiring but leave out age. Make sure to include age in any diverse hiring plans. Additionally, language in job descriptions can be a deterrent to older workers. Be careful to avoid language like “digital native”, “energetic”, or “fresh ideas”. This type of language can prevent older workers from feeling included.
Provide Ageism Training
Frequently employers ignore or only brush over ageism training. This is not helpful to you or your company and can cause a liability. Make sure you include age as part of your discrimination training. This will increase the productivity of your company and promote a more productive and diverse workforce.
Encourage Employees to Speak Up
Ageism is frequently left unreported. Even if it is reported, companies rarely take it seriously and investigate further. Because of this, employees follow their leaders and choose not to take ageism seriously. If you want ageism to lessen in your workplace, you need to be active about preventing it. Your example will extend to your employees. Showing that you care about stopping it, will encourage employees to speak up when witnessing or being the victim of ageism.
Follow these few tips to protect your workplace from ageism and age discrimination.