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Have people experienced unfair treatment on the basis of age at workplace?

Have people experienced unfair treatment on the basis of age, gender, race and class?


Unfair treatment of people at the workplace by their age is a form of discrimination that

constitutes ageism behavior in the contemporary society. Ageism in the society relates to the

discrimination of individuals and stereotyping against such individuals by their age that

produces adverse effects on the individual and their wellbeing in the community. In social

work practice, unfair treatment of individual at the workplaces due to their age is a form of

social injustice that causes the individuals to be inadequate in attaining their full potential and

capability of being productive. According to Shaw (2010), social work research is undertaken

to identify the causes of social injustices in the community and identify the resources to assist

the individuals to attain social justice in their communities.


According to Walter (2013) undertaking the review of the existing literature regarding social

work problem in the society is important in the identification of the existing gaps in

knowledge causing social work problem in the society. Therefore on discussing the

occurrence of unfair treatment on the basis of age of individuals at their workplace review of

the literature was undertaken to determine the age, impact and channels of aIDressing

complaints by the individuals.

In aIDressing age discrimination in the society, studies conducted by Bayl-Smith, & Griffin

(2014) indicates that the most cases of discrimination on the basis of age in the workplace are

the older employees age 40 years and above. The researchers, Bayl-Smith, & Griffin (2014)

also indicated that the older employees in the organization further experiences indirect forms

of age discrimination in the work engagement. Furthermore, the researchers indicate that age

discrimination among the older workers was affected by the retirement age set for the

employees. Other researchers Thornton & Luker (2010) in another research also establish that

age discrimination at the workplace was affecting the older workforce. The researchers also

established that the older population experience ageism behavior from colleagues and

employers due to retirement age and stereotype regarding their cognitive capabilities. In

analyzing the literature from the review undertaken to determine that age of the employees

that face unfair treatment in the workplace, several gaps in knowledge are identified. Among

the existing gaps in knowledge identified through the literature include the forms of

discrimination that the employees experience in the workplace and also the impact of gender

on the occurrence of discrimination alongside age of the employees.

In aIDressing the impact of unfair treatment of individuals at their workplace, researchers like

Schermuly, Deller, & Busch (2013) that conducted a randomized observational study of

people aged over 50 years under employment in the various organizations established that

age discrimination causes desire for a retirement age. Through their study Schermuly, Deller,

& Busch (2013) established that the retirement age is caused either directly or indirectly by

psychological empowerment issues that are related to discrimination on the basis of age in

the workplace. In another study conducted by Roscigno, Mong, Byron, & Tester (2011), the

researchers undertook a survey and experimental analysis of workplace age discrimination to

establish its impact on the individuals. Roscigno, Mong, Byron, & Tester (2011) established

that the major impact of age-based discrimination at work includes downward mobility of the

aging employees and increased rate of early retirement from work resulting in increased

financial burden to the aging population that is worsened by global economic crisis. Through

reviewing the studies there exists a gap in knowledge regarding the psychological and social

impact of unfair treatment of individuals at the work place on the basis of their age. The

studies above focuses on the impact of age-based discrimination upon through opting out of

employment and therefore to establish the social work knowledge to aIDress the existing gap

in knowledge the social work research should be undertaken.

An increased incidence of technological advances and employers inclining to youthful energy

at the workplace has resulted in increased complaints of unfair treatment at the workplace on

the basis of age. According to Bjelland and colleagues (2009) that undertook a study to

establish the channels used by employees in channeling their complaints regarding unfair

treatment in the workplace majority of the workers experiencing file discrimination

complaints. The researchers used the United States Commission on Equal Employment

Opportunity to investigate the nature of the complaints filed by the employees experiencing

discrimination in their workplace (Bjelland et al., 2009). The researchers focused on the

definition of the age discrimination behaviors that the employees experience at their places of

work and link the same either separately or jointly with the Age Discrimination Act (Bjelland

et al., 2009). The researchers established that the employees file numerous complaints of the

incidences of age discrimination at the work place, but the characteristics of the situation of

age discrimination behaviors are variable in most cases.


Finally, the researchers concluded that the population of workers is aware of the age-based

discrimination claim and raise complaints to the authorities in the society. Other researchers,

Kunze, Boehm, & Bruch (2010) have undertaken the study to establish the perception of age-

based discrimination in the workplace among the employees and managers. Complaints about

unfair treatment at the work place are perceived. Differently that affects the ability of the

employees being discriminated against to raise compliant to the relevant authorities. Kunze,

Boehm, & Bruch (2010) establish their finding through randomly undertaking the study

among employees in various companies with an aim of establishing their perception of age

discrimination and the commitment at the company level to aIDress the complaints raised by

the employees (Kunze, Boehm, & Bruch, 2010).In the analysis the studies by the researches,

there exists a gap in knowledge regarding the company systems and structure within the

organization leave alone the existing legislation in various countries that aIDress the

complaints of age discrimination at the workplace. Furthermore, knowledge gaps exist

regarding the perception of age-based discrimination behavior at the workplace among

employees. Regarding the literature, social work research should be undertaken to aIDress the

existing gaps in knowledge regarding the perception of the employees and the structures of

raising complaints within the organization.


Bayl-Smith, P., & Griffin, B. (2014). Age discrimination in the workplace: identifying as a

late-career worker and its relationship with engagement and intended retirement age. J Appl

Soc Psychol, 44(9).

Bjelland, M., Bruyère, S., von Schrader, S., Houtenville, A., Ruiz-Quintanilla, A., & Webber,

(2009). Age and Disability Employment Discrimination: Occupational Rehabilitation







Kunze, F., Boehm, S., & Bruch, H. (2010). Age diversity, age discrimination climate and

performance consequences-a cross organizational study. Journal Of Organizational

Behavior, 32(2).

Roscigno, V., Mong, S., Byron, R., & Tester, G. (2011). Age Discrimination, Social Closure

and Employment. Social Forces, 86.

Schermuly, C., Deller, J., & Busch, V. (2013). A Research Note on Age Discrimination and

the Desire to Retire: The Mediating Effect of Psychological Empowerment. Research On

Aging, 36(3).

Shaw, I. (2010). The Sage handbook of social work research. Los Angeles: SAGE.

Thornton, M., & Luker, T. (2010). Age Discrimination in Turbulent Times. Griffith Law

Review, 19(2).

Walter, M. (2013) Social Research Methods, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne
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Posted on May 23, 2016Author TutorCategories Question, Questions



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