Inmany law firms today there is a rise in the discrimination ofemployees who are young. There are problematic perceptions thatworkers who are older in age were rejected for a promotion due toage. Perceptions of this kind pose a problem for employees who areeligible for retirement when it comes to health extensions and thediminishment of funds awarded as a pension. Discrimination at lawfirms due to age may be as a result of the belief that with thedecrease in age, performance also decreases following the evidentrecords of reduced performance as one gets older. The essay tends tolook into this issue while attempting to answer some questions thatare commonly asked about younger workforce being discriminated.
Descriptionof the age discrimination problem
Theproblem of discrimination occurs when employees begin to be treatedbased on their age whether intentionally or unintentionally. It is apractice manifested at law firms, and it limits workers who are olderfrom being awarded responsibilities at the firms that are ofsubstance. The concern, in this case, is the perceived concept thatyounger workers are considered more when it comes to promotionscompared to older workers and how such perceptions relate to theengagement of the employees in work. There are perceptions that olderemployees have the best attitude towards work and good ethics. Thereare however negative mindsets about the older work force that theyare least interested in development, training or even the positionsof promotion. Employees who are younger in age are depicted accordingto their eagerness to progress and be ahead of the older ones andtheir impatience for promotions. There is, however, more focus onrecruiting, engaging and retaining the younger employees despite thefact that there are a few disadvantages related to their age group.
Alternativesolutions to the problem
Thereis the protection of employees against unfair discriminationaccording to age by the federal government. There is an act that waspassed in 1967 known as the ADEA (Age Discrimination Employment Act)which makes it illegal for those who are in the positions ofemployers and employment agencies, even the federal government toparticipate in discrimination due to age against those who areapplying for the job and employees. The Act protects those who are 40years and above and work in a firm of 20 employees at least.Employees who feel discriminated are allowed to sue the firms.
Othersolutions to the problem include training personnel in theirrespective fields of work upon hiring so that they are equipped withthe rightful skills to solve the perception of the older employeesbeing equipped with old skills creating employment opportunities forschedules that are flexible and other arrangements like positions forpart-timers which particularly attract the old personnel. Doing awaywith the assumption that because an applicant or employee is of aparticular age, they have retirement plans. Failing to givepromotions as a result of the expecting the employee to retire is abreach of the law.
Evaluationof the alternatives
Employersneed to concentrate more on making the workplace a place of ageequity without discriminating. The alternatives given above are alleffective in ensuring the element of equity, but the most objectiveone is the one is the act that protects older employees. All theother alternative solutions leave the power of employment in thehands of the employer, but ADEA does not leave the employer with anychance to compromise the required restrictions. It is more inclinedto the rights of employees than the powers of the employer. Trainingemployees upon hiring are good. The employees learn new skills ratherthan display whatever skills they have that the employer wouldquickly consider uncompetitive.
Allthese alternatives lead to a work environment that is desirable andpositive. It makes the coexistence of the law firms peaceful asco-workers feel respected for what they can offer and notdiscriminated against. Everyone is given an equal opportunity todisplay talent and skill which are considered worthwhile. Throughthat, employees learn new things including helping others and doingwhatever they have always had desired to do.
Whatcan be done to ensure that there is no more discrimination towardsemployees at law firms is by constantly doing a counter check on thenumber of staff from time to time and comparing it to the ratio ofthe ages of both the young and old employees. By so doing, mostemployers will immediately put the act into effect for the fear ofbeing sued for depriving older workers of their rights. Making theemployees aware of their rights is also a way to ensure that the ADEAfunctions effectively because they will not just sit back and waitfor the employer to dictate their fate.
Agediscrimination is a social as well as a sociological issue that ispressing in many areas of the structure of law firms. It is a callfor fairness and justice. Clearly the most affected group are theelderly people whose daily engagement in their various fields ofspecialization is considered not worthy of promotion. They are in aplace of vulnerability to what perception all other co-workers haveof them and discrimination. Such perceptions can cripple firmsbecause they fail to do what they are expected to for lack ofmotivation.