HCBE Faculty Articles

Cultural Paradigms of Age Discrimination and Unearned Privileges


Bahaudin Mujtaba0000-0003-1615-3100

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Journal of Business and Economic Research



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Discrimination cases and lawsuits are causing anxiety for many employers, managers and employees in the United States and are driving many good employees to courts or other organizations. One of the greatest fears of company officials and individual managers is the likelihood of either being sued for something that they have done intentionally or unintentionally, or for something that they should have considered doing but did not. One form of discrimination that has become widespread deals with age. Age discrimination in the workplace impacts people of all sizes, races, colors, religions, and ethnicities. It is no secret that age-related lawsuits proliferated during the last few years’ recession and more recently age related claims have been on the rise as some of the layoffs seem to have been targeting older workers. Juries often side with aggrieved employees, even if the evidence is flimsy. Because of these trends, companies and their managers are realizing the need to protect their firms by periodically reviewing workforce diversity and proactively analyzing their work environment for latent signs of discrimination. A cultural perspective of aging is discussed in the enclosed document along with the societal norms and perceptions of aging from the perspective of people in Afghanistan, Turkey, Jamaica, and the United States. Also, the concept of “unearned privilege” is discussed as it applies to age in different cultures. The focus of this material is discrimination based on age in order to create awareness and reduce the negative impact of stereotypes associated with “older workers.” It is imperative that older workers are kept in the American workforce as long as possible, as there will be a shortage of skilled labor as early as 2005, if older workers continue to retire early.







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