Discrimination in the Workplace

Discrimination in the Workplace

The article titled “The Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Challenge of Population Aging” by David Neumark (2009) reviews the manifestation on age discrimination in the employment markets of the US and the consequences of combating it by focusing on the challenges of the aging population that the economy of the US would be facing in the coming years. Reassuring the employment of elder persons will help meet the challenge on age inequity.  However, the article explores how the increased aging population protected by the The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) may prevent the effectiveness of ADEA and also raises concern about the possible changes in the policies concerning age inequity and imposition. This could lead to the increased capacity of ADEA to deal with some of the serious emanations of the aging population.

ADEA that was passed in 1967 and prohibits the inequality on the basis of age for those citizens who are aged between 40 and 60 years in the US labor market. In the subsequent years, the amendments made to the Act raised the retirement age to 70 and eliminated the retirement age for workers (Neumark, 2009). In case there is aging population in the US, it will pose a number of public policy challenges in the next years as aging population means that the public policy must be concerned with the employment of those older individuals in the labor market as continued employment means that there will be decreased dependency ratio, more tax revenues and greater income within the society. Also when there is increased employment, there will be decreased public expenditures on schemes such as retirement benefits and income support. The US equal employment opportunity commission enforcement activity was tasked with the responsibility of enforcing the terms of the ADEA. Every individual wanting to raise a claim in line with the ADEA has to file a charge first with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

In the recent past, there has been a change in the analysis of the ADEA that may be significant in designing future developments and the influence of how the ADEA serves the US in the coming years. It is with this that the EEOC approved a rule in the year 2004 that touched on the health benefits thus easing the restrictions that had earlier been applied by a previous ruling that is the Erie County Retirees Association, in the year 2000.

In case of persistence in age inequity in the US job markets, the vigilance regarding enforcing ADEA is most likely to turn out beneficial in the process of addressing the challenges of aging population notably in the instances where there is the need to think of how the law and its imposition may be improved to meet the challenges in a better way. However, according to the research that the imposition of the ADEA has some negative effects on the elder workers (Neumark, 2009).

According to the chapter two, discrimination is noting a difference between two or more different things which in itself is necessarily bad (Gregory, 2001). Also, discrimination means allowing our behaviors to be controlled by our stereotypes about specific groups of people. Therefore, discrimination at the place of work means looking at an individuals characteristics unfairly and assuming that everyone in the group is alike. This type of discrimination is in most cases very harmful for employees as some may be different, yet they are stereotyped to be bad. There exists a number of forms of discrimination that emerge from discriminatory policies that may be made by an organizations representatives to deny the employees equal opportunities in performing and reward them unequally for their performance. This mostly happens when layoffs target the older employees simply because they are highly paid and have lucrative benefits. Another form of discrimination at the place of work is intimidation that involves bullying that is directed towards a specific group of employees. An example of such discrimination in the US labor markets is where African-American employees are intimidated by some companies.

In relation to the ADEA, a biographical characteristic that results in discrimination in the workplace is age. In the workplace, age is likely to be an issue in the next decade for many reasons such as workforce is aging in most developed nations worldwide and most countries like the US and Australia have laws that directly protect people against age discrimination. Therefore, most workers do not have to retire at the retirement age of 70 years.

Another biographic characteristics that leads to workplace discrimination, according to chapter two, is disabilities. Workplace policies regarding disabled workers vary from one nation to another with nations such as the US having specific laws that protect these individuals.

According to the above article analysis and knowledge of discrimination from the chapter two, workplace discrimination is a situation where an individual is looked down upon on the basis of his or her age, religion, physical stature, or other factors that differentiate him or her from other individuals in the workplace. The development of regulatory acts by a number of developed nations like the US to protect individuals against workplace discrimination, such as the ADEA, has made a big step in advocating for equal opportunities and rights at the place of work especially for the aging population that is likely to affect the nations in the coming decades.

The article by David Neumark (2009), found that ADEA was a response to the increased age discrimination policies that were reflective of the negative stereotypes regarding the older workers. The laws on age discrimination composed in the ADEA boosted the employment of the older workers as well as scrapping off the retirement age in the US. However, in chapter two of the textbook on discrimination, it is stated that workplace discrimination does not only revolve about age but also other factors such as religion, sex, and physical body stature. It is also evident from the text that discrimination is all about the stereotypes people have regarding others and also intimidation that has been evidenced in the US companies while these issue have not been addressed in the article.

References

Neumark, D. (2009). The age discrimination in employment act and the challenge of population       aging. Research on Aging, 31(1), 41-68.

Gregory, R. F. (2001). Age discrimination in the American workplace: Old at a young age. New       Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press.