What Is Age Discrimination ?
Age discrimination is an act where a person is rejected employment, refused a promotion or terminated from the existing job because of the age. Age discrimination is a punishable offence under the Equal Employment Opportunity Act. The law applies to all people who are above the age of 40. Age discrimination does not give regard to skills and competency.
The employees, even though hold the appropriate qualification for a job, are rejected because of their age. An employer is in a position to treat the employee as a liability based on the age. This is considered clearly as a discriminating act.
Age discrimination is also applied to people of younger age than 40. This act does not cover children who cannot enter a full time job before 18. Youngsters between 20 and 40 years of age also find age discrimination a problem with employers. However, when it is meted out at the older generation, it gets more public attention.
Why do employers discriminate people based on age? The general belief is that, the older a person is, the job experience is more. But now the new age technology poses different demands on the ageing seniors. Also, older people are resistant to such innovative technologies. Companies find it difficult to adapt to their tried and tested methods. They invariably prefer the younger generation who come equipped with the knowledge of current trends in technology. This also saves training costs for the company.
Age discrimination today is being used as a strategy, by companies to keep people within an age limit to get certain positions. However, most age discrimination cases today seem to have sprung out from nowhere. The recent recession also invited the wrath of employees for companies. There are several factors that age discrimination comes along with. It is not enough to prove discrimination if you alone think that you deserved the job and did not get it. The case has to be proven keeping in mind all aspects of the job. Even the other candidates who have applied for the same position will be reviewed.
If the company found another person more qualified than you for a particular job, then you may not have a case at all. However, only experienced attorneys can exactly describe what age discrimination is. An employer will never clearly give the reason for rejecting a person. They always have other reasons to give and also ways and means to prove it.
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WiseGeek: What Is Age Discrimination?