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There is no specific criterion to determine the nature and level of age discrimination because it is in fact illegal according to the legislative laws of all states of America. However the is age discrimination in the united state especially when it comes to employment, the situation has never been amplified by anything because the rate of unemployment at old age has been low for as long as we can recall. Population explosion all over the world can blame of the hyped figures of unemployed aging people. A few years back almost all elderly citizens were pensioners, but currently there are elderly people in the U.S. who have never held permanent jobs, this is aggravating the situation as more and more aging people flocking into the streets everyday in search for employment.
Most people that have surpassed the 'hiring age' find solace in non-professional jobs like security guards, construction employees and such like jobs. Asked, Mr. Howard said that he been on the streets for more than two years before he settled for construction jobs that are poorly paid and irregular. Before he was fired Mr. Howard had been working as a stock broker but he hinted that he is not able to convince other brokering companies that he is competent, they think he is too old to think. Some aging people are still zealous and only by hiring them can you mange to make a sound judgment about their inabilities (Miller 53).
Nelson refers to the new millennium workforce to be having a workforce demographic which is a mixed picture with regards to the older workers. The shortage of skilled young workers is expected in the future and this "bode well with for older workers who possess advanced skills." The individuals who therefore want to work in their latter years will find this an encouragement (Nelson 163). Mr. Howard thinks best performing employees are the ones above 40 years, he argues that they have little troubles in their lives and they are already settled in their careers which they develop without side tracking on other ambitious projects. I buy the fact that employees above the age of 40 years are more settled in their jobs than their younger counterparts who think they have all the time to develop their careers and switch as many companies as possible.
The older job seekers are observed to be lacking in confidence. "When the older persons introduce themselves to a potential employer they are found to tremble" (Nick 47). This might be as a result of the public perception towards the aging population; the society expects them to be retiring not seeking fresh jobs. Their consciences betrays them because they feel they squandered the opportunities that life presented them and they are force to work overtime to carter for their daily needs and those of their families even when after their active life is supposed to be over. Public perception toward old and working people has not been good at all; they are often mistreated by their bosses, who are supposedly very young. Mistreating the elderly staff is not justified by the states law and should not be condoned in fact the older employees should be given a leeway to participate in the organizations decisions and apply their experience in solving the organizations deadlocks.
Working is important for its psychological rewards that it offers to the individuals because it contributes to the "mental acuity" and also "provides a sense of usefulness" (Lahey 2). This state is however not being addressed with due importance by the policy makers. The desperation in unemployed elderly people will reach its critical point very soon if the subject is not addressed with the urgency it deserves. The subjects should be given the ideas required of them to find employment in the modern world, if refresher courses are demanded by their prospective employers; there are institutions that are ready to help them learn some of the essential skills that the employers require them to possess. It is never too late to learn, changes in technology should never be used to deny the elder jobs, they survived the past transitions; from steam trains to the diesel engines and now the electric engines, they can upgrade their skills and do what they did a few decades ago but now in a different way (Miller 39).
According to Nick, "when people stay out of employment for a long time, they loose the confidence to handle the responsibilities that they had once done." He further
states that the loss of confidence can be attributed to the changes in the set up and the rate of improvement in technology (Nick 45). Since the second world the rate of technological around the globe has been very fast with every nation investing heavily in research to ensure they are not surpassed by their rival countries, due to this, exemption of an individual from the professional field for several is enough to cause confusion are technology is evolving very fast and the machinery that were in operation a few years ago are no longer in the market (Rob). The elderly job seekers should thus not be neglected but should be treated like everyone else and taken through the normal recruitment and training processes.
Although there is no legal backing, discrimination against the aging group in places of employment is so immense to be ignored. According to Miller, "A case settled in 2008, Chevron and Monsanto paid about $18 million as compensation to more than 45 employees that had been laid off due to age." Some of the laid off employees were as young as 45 years; this age can not be regarded as old. Employers are continuously working toward hiring the youth who are in their prime year, they are very volatile in technology and their productivity is equally high (Miller 65).
It's more than years since legislation against age-discrimination was signed to law, with the law protecting the workforce above the age of 40 years fro being fired by the employers and also ensuring they are hired without facing discrimination from the employers. However age discrimination is still being propagated quietly but because the aging population still feels superior their voices are not heard as much of those of other discriminated groups such as the disabled, racial discrimination and sexual discrimination.
The greatest concern is that currently half of all workforce in the country is above age of 35 years, this means in fours time more than 50% of all employees will be above the age of 40 which is no competitive again, what will the employers do to counter this, will they suspend all this workforce, if this should happen there would be highest number of unemployment in history. In 1980's the number of law suit filed due to discrimination were mostly from men; more than 86% were men complaints. Currently with the protection of the law, age-discrimination is still very high. In 1997 statistics showed that in an interview with the younger applicants, the old job seekers had a 25% probability of securing the job, thus shows that they are still greatly disadvantaged in the professional sphere. Nelson refers to old age as a social category which we anticipate or join with ambivalence feelings when considering the attitudes towards old age. The old age is aspired by most of us but, "most are reluctant to accept ageing gracefully," and negative attitudes are held by the people towards ageing. The youth is a standard that is held in high esteem and promoted through commercial products which aim to stop the process of ageing (Nelson 129).
The rights of the aging population in employment are increasingly being abused even if the law still in place. There should be groups lobbying for implementation of their right else they continue suffering in silence. The greatest challenge is that age is not like disability, when a recruiting officer eliminates an applicant who is 45 years old form the possible recruits he/she should her/himself how many years will pass before he is subjected to the same treatment.
As highlight in the play; Death of a Salesman, age discrimination in the United States of America is very real. Why this problem continues to hurt the citizens while there is a law that is supposed to protect them. Age is just but a number and it should not be used for or against a person as a reason for non-performance.
When an individual is still able to execute his responsibilities, he/she should never be forced out of his job or denied employment on bases of age unless terms of employment are not followed or the contract has expired. No one should discriminate the aging population because if aging is a mistake we are all wrong; those that might have discriminated other employees due to age in 1985 are already out of employment after exceeding the regular working years. Everyone should stand up for the aging employees because the battle will also…
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