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How can employers fight back against ageism in the workplace?

Having employees in the workplace who make prejudiced remarks against others based on their age is annoying, at best. It can also cause employers to lose valuable employees who leave their jobs to escape the discrimination.  This behavior can even lead a victimized employee to file a discrimination lawsuit against their employer.

In California, as well as other states, workers who are 40 years of age or older have certain protections against age discrimination on the job. Here are some ways employers can fight against ageism, which can sometimes lead to outright discrimination.

Speak out against jokes and other remarks

Most of the time, the intention behind jokes is jest and not anything malicious. However, when jokes occur frequently and to the displeasure of the recipient, it is time for a manager to step in and put an end to these comments. Microaggressions harm not only the person who is the target of the remarks but hinder the morale of the entire workplace as well.

Make an example out of employees

By striving to have workers of a wide variety of ages and backgrounds, employers can fight against ageism by making an example of their hiring practices and employees. One way for employers to do this is to ensure that job applications are free of anything that an applicant could perceive as ageism. For example, avoid using words such as “digital native” in favor of descriptors like “competent” and “motivated.”

By being aware of the ways to catch and fight back against ageism in the workplace, employers can help prevent the situation from escalating and turning into a potential age discrimination lawsuit.


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