While some people over the age of 50 embrace signs of aging such as graying hair, others choose to combat outward indications of growing older with hair dye, skin creams and changes in the way they dress. Dealing with the physical manifestations of aging is an intensely personal and individual matter. For some people, maintaining a youthful appearance as effectively as possible is intertwined with their career goals. This matter may have far-reaching implications for workers in California and throughout the nation.
Despite the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and other laws enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, negative stereotypes exist about people over 50 and their performance in the workplace. Age discrimination is a serious matter for employees in all sectors of the U.S. economy. Cases involving the ADEA led to legal settlements exceeding $72 million in the year 2009. However, older employees continue to face ageism in various forms. Some employees stereotype older workers as resistant to change or likely to fall behind the latest developments in a business.
Ageism is also prevalent outside of the business world. As people age, they often find that groups of younger adults avoid them, look down on them or leave them out of gatherings or activities. Men over 50 might counter this trend by adopting a more refined style of dress. Women over 50 might avoid makeup aimed at a much younger demographic.
Age discrimination in the workplace can be extremely damaging for older workers when it leads to harassment, a hostile work environment or wrongful termination. An employee rights lawyer may advocate for a victim of age discrimination through effective courtroom negotiation against corporations or businesses of any size.
Source: Huffington Post, "Ready to Go Gray? Why Some 50+ Women Are Ditching The Hair Dye", Susan Krauss Witbourne, July 24, 2013