20 Examples of Age Discrimination and How to Address Them

Age discrimination is a pervasive issue that affects people of all ages in various aspects of life, including employment, housing, and access to services. In this blog post, we’ll explore 20 detailed examples of age discrimination, discuss ways to resolve these situations, and offer suggestions on how to respond when confronted with age-based discrimination.

Examples of Age Discrimination

Understanding Age Discrimination

Age discrimination occurs when someone is treated unfairly because of their age, whether they are perceived as too young or too old. This type of discrimination can have lasting effects on individuals, impacting their mental health, self-esteem, and overall quality of life.

20 Examples of Age Discrimination and How to Address Them

Example 1: Young Employee Overlooked for Promotion

A young employee with a strong performance record is consistently overlooked for promotions in favor of older, less-qualified colleagues.

Resolution: Employers should establish clear, objective criteria for promotions and ensure all employees are evaluated fairly based on their qualifications and performance.

Response: The employee can discuss their concerns with their supervisor or human resources department, providing evidence of their performance and qualifications.

Example 2: Older Job Applicant Denied Employment

An older job applicant with extensive experience is repeatedly denied employment in favor of younger candidates with less experience.

Resolution: Companies should implement age-neutral hiring practices and focus on candidates’ skills and qualifications rather than their age.

Response: The applicant can consider filing a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or a similar agency in their country if they believe age discrimination was the reason for the denial.

Example 3: Age-based Harassment at Work

An employee is subjected to age-related jokes, comments, or derogatory terms by colleagues or supervisors, creating a hostile work environment.

Resolution: Employers should adopt a zero-tolerance policy for harassment, including age-based harassment, and provide training to employees on recognizing and reporting such behavior.

Response: The employee can report the harassment to their supervisor, human resources, or another designated authority within the organization.

Example 4: Mandatory Retirement Age

An organization enforces a mandatory retirement age, forcing older employees to retire even if they are still capable and willing to work.

Resolution: Companies should reconsider mandatory retirement policies and allow employees to continue working based on their abilities and job performance.

Response: Affected employees can consult with legal counsel or contact relevant government agencies to explore their rights and options.

Example 5: Limited Access to Training for Older Employees

Older employees are not offered the same access to training and development opportunities as their younger colleagues, limiting their career growth.

Resolution: Employers should provide equal access to training and development opportunities for all employees, regardless of age.

Response: Older employees can raise concerns with their supervisor or human resources department and request access to relevant training programs.

Example 6: Age-based Stereotypes in Job Descriptions

A job posting includes age-related stereotypes, such as “seeking energetic, recent graduates,” discouraging older applicants from applying.

Resolution: Companies should review their job descriptions and remove any age-related language or stereotypes, focusing on the skills and qualifications needed for the position.

Response: Job seekers can contact the company’s human resources department to inquire about the qualifications for the role and express their interest despite the age-related language.

Example 7: Age Discrimination in Housing

A landlord refuses to rent an apartment to an older individual, claiming they are concerned about the person’s ability to maintain the property.

Resolution: Landlords should treat all prospective tenants fairly and base their decisions on objective criteria, such as credit history and rental references, rather than age.

Response: The individual can file a complaint with their local housing authority or seek legal advice if they believe they have experienced age discrimination.

Example 8: Age-based Limitations on Health Insurance

A health insurance provider refuses coverage or charges higher premiums to older individuals due to their age, limiting their access to affordable healthcare.

Resolution: Insurance providers should offer policies without age-based restrictions and ensure their pricing is fair and transparent for all customers.

Response: The affected individual can contact their state insurance commissioner or a legal advisor to explore their rights and options.

Example 9: Younger Employee Paid Less for the Same Work

A younger employee is paid a lower salary than their older colleagues for performing the same job, despite having similar qualifications and experience.

Resolution: Employers should establish a fair and transparent pay structure based on objective criteria, such as experience, skills, and job responsibilities, rather than age.

Response: The younger employee can discuss their concerns with their supervisor or human resources department and request a review of their salary.

Example 10: Older Worker Denied Workplace Accommodations

An older worker requests reasonable accommodations, such as ergonomic furniture or flexible scheduling, to continue working effectively but is denied due to their age.

Resolution: Employers should provide reasonable accommodations to all employees, regardless of age, to promote a supportive and inclusive work environment.

Response: The worker can consult with legal counsel or contact relevant government agencies to explore their rights and options.

More Examples of Age Discrimination on the next page…