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Age Discrimination at the Workplace

Updated on December 15, 2011

Any form of discrimination at the workplace is not allowed by law. Discrimination can be in the form of age or sex. It is against the law for an employer to discriminate a worker on the basis of age. Age discrimination is defined as the unfavorable treatment from employers based on a person’s age. It can affect the economy and people of all ages at all stages of their working lives and relates to the difficulties experienced in selection, development and promotion.

Age discrimination is usually common in countries in Asia and South America. A good example of a country that practices age discrimination is Mexico where the country’s median age is 24. This is in comparison to the U.S median age of 35. The hiring practices in Mexico are slimy with various types of discriminations, but age discrimination is the most common. The practice robs the country of experienced workers and the labor laws in the country are not enforced.

Some countries have passed legislations that make it unlawful for employers to discriminate on the basis of age. In America for example, the government has come up with an organization that helps curb this vice. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits any employer from not hiring, discharging or discriminating against a worker based on the age. The ADEA mostly covers companies or organizations that have more than 20 individuals, overseas companies and the local and state governments. It also forbids the employer from denying the employees their pay, job assignments or fringe benefits based on their ages.

Age discrimination can have devastating effects on the economy. Whether it is discrimination against young people or against people above a certain age, it still has negative effects on the economy. In some countries like Korea, senior citizens are discriminated from getting certain jobs when they reach retirement age mostly in the private sector. The retirement age in Korea is 60, afterwards the individual finds it hard to get employment elsewhere and the chances are slim.


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