Here are five examples of how and where age bias manifests itself in the workplace:
The tech industry has long been stereotyped as a place for younger generations to work, and we have seen numerous examples of younger workers filling tech companies or jobs while older workers are unfairly pushed out. However, this type of age bias is not unique to the technology industry or IT jobs. Layoffs and downsizing continue to have a disproportionate impact on older, tenured employees, and new management frequently encounters difficulties with older employees who have successfully performed their jobs for years. Age discrimination occurs in every industry in the United States of America.
While there are some excellent nonprofit organizations to work for, just because an organization has a noble mission does not guarantee that it will be a pleasant place to work. Nonprofit organizations are subject to the same employment laws as everyone else, and we frequently see them violate these laws, including those prohibiting age discrimination.
Age bias is not limited to younger managers; it also exists among older ones. Employers and their counsel, apparently unaware of this, frequently point to the decision maker’s age – who was the same age or older than the terminated or passed over employee – in order to assert that age had no bearing on the decision. This is not an excuse: under Minnesota law, age cannot be a factor in a material employment decision, regardless of who makes the decision or their age.
Healthcare professionals can enjoy lengthy and prosperous careers. Others enter the field as a second career or refocus their practice after years in the field. Regardless of the reason, healthcare professionals frequently continue to work well into their retirement years. When you have older employees in a workplace, such as in healthcare, age bias will eventually creep in.
Age discrimination in the workplace is prohibited under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act. On the other hand, the Minnesota Human Rights Act protects all Minnesota employees, regardless of age, from age discrimination. In other words, it is against the law in Minnesota to consider an employee’s age when making employment decisions. This means that it is illegal to hire applicants solely on the basis of their age.