New research by the journal Age and Ageing suggests that age and discrimination is still alive and kicking in the workplace – and it’s not expected to disappear any time soon.
According to the study, which included more than 7,000 adults, one in three British adults over the age of 50 say they’ve experienced an age bias, and that figure rose to 37 percent among people aged 65 and over. Further, nearly 20 percent of all participants said they were treated with less respect because of their age and just under 5 percent said they’d experienced age-related harassment. Still, the report finds that working adults were 25 percent less likely to report age bias than retired people, with better-educated people more attuned to inequities and more likely to report discrimination.
While this study was of our friends across the Pond, Reuters notes that it is still extremely relevant to the US workplace “because this study lines up with results from the European Union and United States, the general findings about perceived discrimination probably apply to most countries.”
Lending further support, HR Morning notes that two recent high-profile lawsuits prove that age bias is as prevalent as ever. In the first case, AT&T agreed to pay a staggering $250,000 to settle an age bias lawsuit bought by a sale coach manager in Missouri who was fired while the company kept on younger, lower-performing sales coach managers or allowed them to transfer. In addition to the monetary settlement, the company also agreed to redistribute and reaffirm its commitment to its anti-discrimination policy, provide anti-discrimination training, and report to the EEOC on complaints of age discrimination and terminations of persons over 40.
In the second case, property management company Kunbar Property Management (KPM) agreed to pay $140,000 to settle a lawsuit under which a veteran property manager was told her position was being eliminated, only for her to be replaced by younger women. Beyond the fine, the company also agreed to update its anti-discrimination policies to recognize the importance of older employees in the workforce, and furnish companywide training for all of its management personnel with hiring and firing authority.
How do you ensure age bias is not a part of your company? Let us know in the comments!