Sadly, our society is still one in which many types of unfair discrimination and biases raise their heads. Some of these types have been getting more and more attention over the years, with there being an increased amount of societal pressure to stomp them out. Others, however, go a little more under-the-radar and even to certain degrees receive some tacit societal acceptance.
It appears that ageism may well fall into the latter category. An example of the unique place age discrimination/bias holds in society as compared to things like religious or racial discrimination is what society generally considers acceptable/tolerable to say about age in things like birthday cards and internet memes. Comments about age in such things are generally given more leeway than comments about other personal characteristics that can commonly be a target of discrimination/bias.
Among the reasons why ageism possibly receiving a higher degree of societal leeway is a particularly concerning thing in today’s world is that quite a few Americans are currently entering their older years. This is because baby boomers, the second largest generation in the U.S. population as of 2015, are currently making the transition into these later years.
There are many different places baby boomers could potentially encounter age bias/discrimination. Unfortunately, the workplace is among these places. Some examples of workplace age discrimination baby boomers could encounter include being turned down for a job because of their age, being subjected to unfair or harassing conduct by coworkers or bosses due to their age and being let go because of their age.
Now, like several other types of workplace discrimination, there are federal laws against age discrimination. Unfortunately, there are various difficulties a worker can face in trying to assert their rights under these laws when they are subjected to such discrimination, such as big backlogs in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discrimination claims and challenges with proving that age discrimination actually occurred.
It is important for baby boomers who have encountered workplace age discrimination to not assume that these difficulties mean they are without real recourse to respond to such discrimination. There can be ways for such challenges to be overcome so an acceptable and proper resolution to the situation can be reached. Experienced employment law attorneys can advise baby boomers and other workers on what steps they can take, in the face of challenges, to fight to have their rights under anti-age-discrimination laws respected.