Many businesses make concerted efforts at bringing in fresh, new talent and make a point of recruiting from college campuses while ignoring more experienced potential employees. As a result of this, many people from the Baby Boomer generation are being pushed out of the workforce. A number of these individuals are knowledgeable, experienced and hard workers.
In some cases, these people are losing out on jobs and promotions due to age discrimination. This practice can harm both the workers directly affected and the organization in question. Along with the loss of valuable workers, this type of discrimination can hurt productivity and morale. If employees see workers being passed over unfairly, it may keep them from doing their best because they feel it will be a waste of time.
While age discrimination can be detrimental to a company, it may not always be obvious that it is taking place. Along with obviously disparate treatment, which is outlined in policies and statements, there is the issue of disparate impact. In these situations, the outcome may be the same, that older workers are negatively affected, the way the organization works prevents protected individuals from having the same access to raises and other advancement. Some companies may specifically avoid internal analysis to avoid an accusation of intentional discrimination.
There are federal laws that that protect against a variety of types of discrimination. People who are being discriminated against because of their age may have legal recourse if they are passed up for employment, promotions or other opportunities. A lawyer could assist someone who has been affected by explaining their rights and letting them know their options for dealing with these issues.
Source: Business 2 Community, "How Age Discrimination Can Be a Subtle Drag on Businesses", Jeffrey Dupont, Feb. 20, 2015