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A challenge to young people: you must fight age discrimination

by on June 10, 2013

This opinion piece in a US regional online newspaper calls on young people to fight age discrimination, notwithstanding that they may feel that they are competing with older workers for jobs during the economic downturn.

The perspective is particularly interesting and seems to come from the different legal status of age in the US compared to the UK.

In the US, only those aged 40 and over are legally protected against age discrimination at work. This positions older (but not younger) workers as being the targets of prejudice in the job market. Indeed the article draws parallels with the battle against discrimination based on race or sexual orientation, suggesting that whilst ‘the targeted group can push for change… meaningful progress doesn’t happen without the rest of us, the ones who are safe, embracing the change.’

The argument continues by pointing out that ‘we’ are not as safe as we might think:

  • we’ll get old(er) soon enough and
  • we can be the victim of stereotyping at any age.
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