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Age Discrimination in the Workplace

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Discrimination happens when an employer treats one employee differently than another employee. It could mean that a female employee is being paid less than a male colleague for doing the same job. Also, it could involve employees being refused the training opportunities offered to other colleagues. There are laws against discrimination regarding the status of gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation, disability, race, color, ethnic background, nationality, religion, and beliefs. Although, sexual orientation and gender identity have no relationship to workplace performance, during the past few decades a high level of discrimination is happening in workplaces.

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Women are one of the most groups being discriminated against today. They try very hard to fit in and be successful in their careers. Discrimination against women is found in many workplaces. Some managers try to fix this problem, while other managers ignore it and do not want to fix the problem. Companies that pretend that gender discrimination doesn’t exist are usually the ones that get sued for it more often. Other companies try to avoid lawsuits by dealing with gender discrimination and resolving conflicts before it gets to the lawsuits. Women are also more likely to be judged by their looks and how they dress than males. They are often discriminated against for being not pretty enough or being too old.

Offering women and men different rates of pay and benefits for the same job is also an example of workplace discrimination. There is a big wage gap between women and men in the workplace and this is still an ongoing issue today. For instance, male pilots make salaries 26.6 percent higher than female pilots. Female chefs suffer similar workplace issues, earning 24.6 and 24 percent less than their male co-workers.

Religious discrimination in the workplace is any employment-related action that impacts employees differently, because of their religion, beliefs, or spiritual practices. It also applies if employees are negatively affected because they ask for a reasonable accommodation for those beliefs. The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment. Even though there is this rule set in place, people ignore it and that’s why religious/race discrimination still exists today. Most workers are usually white middle-aged men, wearing a suit and most likely carrying a briefcase.

Back in November 2018, my mom used to work for a company that made and packaged trail-mix. She had been working for this company for around 5 months before she received a letter in the mail stating she’s been given a break by the company and they will call her when she can come back. Weeks had gone by and we never received a call from them. We later on figured out that the company manager had kicked out everyone that was not Pilipino. My mom was very frustrated and so were many of her co-workers. My mom has been working in Canada for 23 years and this has not been the first time she’s experienced something like this.

Age discrimination in employment is a complex issue that impacts many areas of Government policy and has many implications for individuals themselves. Age discrimination can occur across all spectrums of employment and can affect both young and old workers. Age discrimination can affect a person’s chances of getting a job, and potentially their chances of development within the workplace. Age can also be a factor when employers are deciding who should be selected during a workforce. Age seems to be more of a common issue in the workplace now than it was in the past.

Around May 2019, I was searching for possible summer jobs that I can apply to. My school offered a lot of job opportunities for all of the students. A lot of the jobs required a minimum age of 16 but I wasn’t 16 at the time. My birthday is in June so when I was applying I was not 16 but when I started the job I would have turned 16. Because of my age, a lot of the jobs I applied to did not accept me. Every time I would have found out that I was not accepted into the jobs that my friends got accepted into, I felt a little bit of jealousy and anger in me. Just because of my age at the time, I was not able to work with my friends and classmates. The frustration would build up every time I found out I was not accepted into one of the jobs I applied to. This past summer, I probably applied to 100 jobs before I got accepted into one. This has resulted in me spending most of my summer looking for opportunities in jobs that could have made the process smoother, but instead, I was a victim of age discrimination.

The message I want to send out to the world is that workplace discrimination is an ongoing struggle for many individuals as they’re discriminated against based on their gender, race, religion, and age and this issue should be solved. We need to show that no one has the right to be discriminated against anyone for anything. A great way to start is by exposing this issue to other people. Even though I am only 16 years old, I have seen many people who have been discriminated against in their workplace and I have even experienced it myself.   

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