Reverse age discrimination or reverse ageism is a reality. There has been a perception for quite some time now that younger people or young employees also face discrimination just as older workers do. It is understandable why older workers face certain discrimination and most of them have been substantiated, which is why there is a law protecting the interests of the older workers. Likewise, there are some reasons why reverse age discrimination in the workplace has become a reality.
What Is It?
Reverse age discrimination is the exact opposite of ageism. Older workers are defined as those who are above the age of forty. Legally, they are classified as older workers and they are protected by the ADED law of 1967. The law clearly states that an old worker, one above forty, should not be discriminated in any manner in comparison with a younger worker. The discrimination could be financial, related to employment opportunities, incentives or even treatment meted out at the workplace and beyond by the company. Since older workers are protected by the law, it is the younger workers who bear the brunt.
Over the last five to six years, it has been noted statistically that younger people get fired more often than older people. There are some reasons for that. First, older workers are hard to get rid of since they have been working at an organization for a long time and their experience counts. Second, there is a law that makes firing them a little difficult. A lot of explanation has to be filed if the company is sued. Younger worker or those below the age of forty cannot sue a company on that basis as long as valid reasons are provided for termination and adequate compensation is offered. Third, many managers or even owners of companies experience a sense of compassion when it comes to hiring older workers. Older people have families and dependents and the guilt of sacking them may become a tad too much to bear for most managers and business owners. To the contrary, young people don’t have dependents always and they can easily start or restart their career.
In that context, reverse ageism or reverse age discrimination in the workplace has become far too common. There are some counterpoints as well as firing younger people doesn’t make much sense for a company since they are harder workers, put in more hours and can stretch whenever needed and they also get paid less than the older workers.
Crystal Lombardo has been a staff writer for Future of Working for five years. She is a proud veteran and mother. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our editor-in-chief a message here.