Even older people who are applying for volunteering positions, get turned down because of their age. When a volunteer at a chary organization turned 80-years-old, he was told that he can no longer work because the workplace insurance only covered staff and volunteers up to the age of 80. He complained to the Commission, and for them to negotiate with the organization. During the process, the parties agreed the need to balance the risks and resources for the not-for-profit organization with the benefits of volunteers who are performing meaningful work within the community. The insurer was contacted, by the organization, and the workplace insurance was extended to cover all of the volunteers up to the age of 85. Due to the change, the man was able to return back to his volunteering position at the organization (“Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland.”). Section Five: Policy Review Due to the age discrimination that the elderly experienced in their workplace, different federal laws and state laws were created to protect the older workers. For every state except South Dakota there are laws that prohibit age discrimination in a workplace. Forty-three state laws include age with the anti-discrimination laws. Thirty-two state laws provide for the damages (““Workplace Fairness”). The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (AEDA) of 1967 is an act that protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. The AEDA covers private employers with 20 or more employees, state and local governments, employment agencies, labor organization and the federal government. It is illegal to discriminate a person because of their age with respect or any term, condition, privilege of employment.
It also includes hiring, firing, giving a promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits and training. It is also forbidden to harass an employer because of his age. The AEDA also includes advertisements and job notices. It is illegal to include specific ages, or specifications of youth in a job notice or advertisement. A job may only advertise a specific age in rare circumstances where age is shown to be “bona fide occupational qualification’ (BFOQ) practically necessary to the business operation. According to the AEDA it is unlawful for apprenticeship programs, including join labor management programs to refuse the acceptance of someone due to their age. However, age limitations in apprenticeship programs are valid if they fall under the grants specific exemption. “The ADEA does not explicitly prohibit an employer from asking an applicant’s age or date of birth”. However, such questions can discourage an older person from wanting to apply to that company. The information can be received after the person is hired, if it was for lawful purposes (“Information about the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act”). Another act is called the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act or 1990 (OWBPA) which amended the ADEA to protect employers from denying benefits to older employees.
Congress recognized that providing certain benefits to older workers would cost greater, then providing the same benefits to younger workers, which can discourage employers to hire older workers. Nevertheless, there can be circumstances where an employer may be allowed to lessen certain benefits due to age. In those cases, as longs as the cost of those benefits to older workers is the same cost of providing the benefits to younger workers (“Information about the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act”). Ageism in a workplace is a widespread social problem. Older workers are commonly complaining that they are discriminated because of their age when applying for a job, not offered trainings and promotions and being pressured into thinking about retirement. Age discrimination and compulsory retirement are against the law, and also bad for the business, employers and community. I feel the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (AEDA) of 1967 and Older Workers Benefit Protection Act or 1990 (OWBPA) have fairly an effect for the older workers. Since, employers are responsible for their employees acts of discrimination and sexual harassment, employers are also responsible for their actions and should try to eliminate such acts in their workplace.
Age discrimination leaves many negative and hurtful feelings to older people. Doris Roberts, the Emmy-award winning actress in her seventies from the T.V. show ‘Everybody Loves Raymond, stated that “My peers and I are portrayed as dependent, helpless, unproductive and demanding rather than deserving,’ she continues saying that ‘In reality, the majority of seniors are self-sufficient, middle-class consumers with more assets than most young people, and the time and talent to offer society.” Psychologists need to respond to those adults who were victims of ageism, the same way they do when a person was discriminated against race, or a disability, says Jacqueline Goodchilds, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. On behalf of APA’s Committee on Aging (CONA), Goodchillds drafted a resolution against ageism that was approved by APA’S Council of Representatives in February 2002. The resolution states that APA is against ageism “in all its forms” and the APA’S commitment will support and make the efforts to eliminate it. ‘APA was against racism, sexism and all the other ‘isms’–it made sense to be against ageism too,’ Goodchilds says of the resolution.
Other APA groups are also working to fight ageism through funding, training and federal policies supporting geropsychologists (Dittman, Melissa. 2003). After doing an intense research development about ageism in a workplace there were many ideas and subjects that was new to me. To begin with, I never knew new what ageism meant. Ageism a social problem because it fit the principles of a social problem. People felt that they were being discriminated at their jobs because of their age, therefore they wanted to create a solution to stop the prejudice. Once I started to deeply research the topic, I learned that it was a form of discrimination based on age. Once I started to get more specific and study ageism in a workplace, I became aware that it is in fact a major social problem that occurs in the world. I learned that there are older workers who aren’t being offered jobs, promotions, trainings and are pressured to retire due to their age, which is all a form of ageism. I’ve also learned, that ageism can be present even in a job post or advertisement, and even in volunteering positions.
Another fact that I learned was that women, specifically are victims to ageism, compared to men. When reviewing different case studies, I saw several examples of individuals who were personally discriminated in a job environment due to their age. To discontinue the discrimination The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (AEDA) of 1967, was created. It is a law that protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. In 1990, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act or (OWBPA), was created, which is a law, amended to the ADEA to protect employers from denying benefits to older employees. We need to raise the consciousness of the need for aging material,’ says CONA chair Forrest Scogin, PhD, a University of Alabama psychology professor. ‘There needs to be a greater awareness of who the older adults are–they are a diverse group. Ageism and stereotypes just don’t work.’ Scogin notes, that the key is to educate psychologist and the population about America’s growing elderly population.
‘If we have people–from secondary education to continuing education, to professionals–with a greater awareness of aging as an important component, then that could have an impact on reducing ageism” (Dittman, Melissa. 2003). After conducting a substantial research on Ageism, I would recommend that people in society should acknowledge the older workers, and value their hard work and skills. If an older worker feels that they are qualified enough of to continue their job, or are eager to apply for another job, then their abilities should be appreciated and accepted, and not refused because of their age. I feel that there may even be older workers, who are more qualified for specific jobs, rather than younger workers, due to their experience and education. My recommendations for future research regarding ageism is to research several journals, websites, and website of organizations to really understand what ageism is.