Preventing age-related discrimination in the workplace

A study has confirmed what many people have known for a while: The older you are, the higher the likelihood that you’ll deal with age discrimination at work. Researchers for the study created fictional resumes for applicants in three age groups: 29-31, 49-51, and 64-66.

The researchers applied to more than 40,000 jobs and found that people in the 64-66 age group received 35% fewer callbacks than those in the 29-31 age group. As a California business owner, here are some things you can do to fight age discrimination and promote diversity and inclusion in your company.

How does age discrimination affect your company?

Over the last 15 years, ageism cases made up 20-25% of all EEOC cases. Age discrimination cases usually garner the highest payouts as well. In 2013 alone, people who filed ageism cases received $93.9 million in compensation.

Diversity and inclusion are essential for businesses because it keeps companies from risking a huge settlement. When your company excludes older individuals, you’ll also miss out on the talent and expertise they can bring to your team. Fortunately, change is imminent. Businesses are actively looking for ways to avoid ageism.

Diversity and discrimination training

To protect your business from age discrimination claims, your managers and team members should attend training on diversity and inclusion. The training will give your employees a clearer understanding of the benefits of age diversity as well as the penalties for discriminating against individuals based on age.

It is also important for you to establish and enforce policies discouraging discrimination. Don’t assume that your employees will understand that ageism is not permitted in your workplace.

You need to clarify the policies and be sure that everyone who works for your company is aware of the policies. Make it clear that your business will not tolerate discrimination of any kind. This helps you create a better working environment for employees of all ages.


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