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Seven Reasons Employers Engage in Age Discrimination

Age discrimination is a serious problem that results in many older workers being deprived of benefits, raises, or promotions they have earned through their hard work. Even workers as young as 40 may experience the effects of age discrimination, getting pushed out of their jobs in favor of younger workers. Here are seven reasons employers engage in age discrimination against their older workers:


  • Older workers are seen as less physically/mentally able

    • One of the most common stigmas that leads to age discrimination is the belief that older workers are less physically or mentally able than their younger counterparts. They may be seen as slower, weaker, or less intelligent, even if they perform well in their jobs.

  • Older workers may be seen as less productive

    • An extension of that belief is the idea that older workers simply cannot, or will not, work as hard as younger workers. As a result, employers may engage in age discrimination by undervaluing the contributions of their older employees.

  • Older workers are seen as less adaptable

    • It is also something of a stereotype that younger workers are seen as more able and willing to adapt to new technologies or business practices than older workers. As a result, victims of age discrimination are often described as being unable to keep up with the times, regardless of their actual capabilities.

  • Older workers can demand more pay

    • Age discrimination can also be a factor when employers try to prevent older workers from seeking better pay or benefits. Employers know that more experienced workers can demand higher pay, which means they may hesitate to hire older workers who may drive up labor costs.

  • Older workers cannot work long hours as easily

    • Employers tend to like it when their workers are able to work long hours, and younger employees are seen as better suited for that kind of work. Older workers, meanwhile, may struggle to put in additional overtime, resulting in them getting cut out of employment opportunities.

  • Older workers are more likely to have additional obligations

    • The older someone gets, the more likely they are to have additional obligations that detract from the ability to dedicate fully to their job. This may include health issues, family obligations, or participation in the community, which someone may deal with in their free time.

  • Older workers may be less tolerant of abusive practices

    • Finally, employers may engage in age discrimination because they know older workers may be less likely to put up with abusive employment practices. Younger workers may not even realize they are being exploited, while older workers will be more likely to demand better treatment or pay.

Steven Mitchell Sack, the Employee’s Lawyer, is a New York employment lawyer with more than 42 years’ experience handling the many aspects of employment law. His new book, “Fired!: Protect Your Rights & FIGHT BACK If You’re Terminated, Laid Off, Downsized, Restructured, Forced to Resign or Quit,” is available in hardback, and contains valuable advice on dealing with employment and labor law issues. To purchase the book, feel free to contact Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or visit the website at To inquire about a legal matter, please feel free to contact attorney Steven Sack at 917-371-8000 or

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