Age Discrimination Definition and Examples

Thu, 11/12/2015 - 03:35 -- Umar Farooq


When a person is treated less favorably than another on the basis of his age, then this situation is known as age discrimination. People encounter this situation mostly in workplaces but in the normal routine, it can be a situation of harassment. It is often called ageism in which you discriminate the other person on the basis of his age. Generally, employers are not allowed to hire or provide compensation to the employee on the basis of his or her age. At workplaces, it often gets difficult to understand if the actions of the employer were because of discrimination or because he got a better candidate for the job. Therefore, it is not right to say that the elderly people are discriminated at workplaces due to their age only.

In order to protect Ageism in America, the Employment Act (ADEA) has been developed for protecting the individuals who are 40 years or older and they have been discriminated they are over 40 years. According to the law, they are protected against illegal discrimination of all kinds. It is happens when an act committed by the employers which is not in favor of the employees who are above 40 years will also be called discrimination. ADEA is applied to the private employees who have 20 or more employees in the federal, state or local government. This type of discrimination is not allowed in labor organizations nor the employment agencies.

We can easily prove age discrimination, if the other person goes against the law to hurt you and treats you differently, then you are the victim of discrimination against age. Sometimes, there are cases when the other person did not mean to discriminate but aged people take it offensive anyway and they want to execute law for treating the problem. In case discrimination has happened, the employer is required to compensate these individuals. Here is how the elderly people are protected from discrimination against age:

  1. An employer is not allowed to retaliate against the individual for opposing the placements which discriminate the individual on the basis of age
  2. Employers are not allowed to specify or limit the age in the job specifications and ads.
  3. The elderly people should not be discriminated for participating in any apprenticeship programs. This limitation is only accepted, if there are special conditions.
  4. An employer can ask the applicant about his year and date of birth. However, he is not allowed to cancel the job application of the person on the basis of this information.
  5. An employer cannot force them to resign from their jobs.


Ageism is an issue that is present from a long time. Even though rules are available but still, the elderly individuals are discriminated. Apart from getting discriminated at workplace, they are also harassed due to their age. This harassment includes passing offensive or hurtful comments against the elderly like “slow” or “old man”. This can happen at the workplace and we cannot say that the employers or follow employee are responsible for the harassment, it can be the customers as well. Here are some of the common examples of age discrimination that people have to face every day despite the availability of the law:

  1. Refused employment
  2. Getting dismissed from a job
  3. Denied promotion or not allowing to join apprenticeship program
  4. Provided with less favorable employment conditions
  5. Harassed

The elderly are given positive discrimination in the form of concessions, discounts and accommodation assistance. The society is not that bad, however ageism is still a problem.