While most California businesses do not actively try to discriminate against older workers, ageism can be particularly difficult to spot for those who are not being discriminated against. Regardless, ageism can be a major issue for employees as it can cause workers to mentally disengage from their jobs or even leave the workplace. Because losing workers with valuable skills and experience can cause problems for businesses, employers should be aware of the signs of ageism so that they can put a stop to it.
For example, a place of employment may have problems with ageism if the workplace provides development opportunities and training to only younger employees and not older employees. All employees should be given the same chances to improve their skills. The employer could also plan team-building activities that are geared towards younger workers and are not suitable for those over the age of 50. For example, activities that require athleticism could prevent older workers from being involved.
If employees joke or tease about another employee’s age, there is a chance that there is ageism in the workplace. Older employees themselves may also be putting in less effort or may show that they are losing interest. Employers who notice this should take the time to ensure that older employees are not feeling undervalued.
While discrimination based on an employee’s age is illegal, some employers may still encourage a work culture that is more focused on younger employees. In these cases, the younger employees may have more opportunities to move up in the company, get more hours or experience more lenient workplace rules. An employment law attorney may help those who are facing age discrimination in the workplace by seeking compensation they missed out on due to being overlooked for promotion or due to having their hours cut.