AGE DISCRIMINATION AT THE WORKPLACE: risks that a company can face in the absence of a diversity plan

Age discrimination in the workplace refers to a situation where an employer puts an employee in a disadvantageous position based on their age rather than their performance or merit (Kunze et al., 2011). Age discrimination can occur to anyone of any particular age. However, age discrimination is more common among older folks of 40 years and above. Age discrimination can occur at all levels of the employment circle beginning at the advertising stage, recruitment compensation as well as firing. It is important to carry out diversity planning as far as the age diversity is concerned. The following are some of the risks that a company can face in the absence of a diversity plan.

Reduced Productivity

            Give that age discrimination can occur at all levels of the employment circle, an event where it is happening to employees that are currently employed by the organization can lead to reduced productivity (Kunze et al., 2011). This is because an indifferent treatment directed towards an employee based on their age is likely to demoralize them and reduce their productivity. This is because employee morale is an essential part of employee productivity. Due to the reduced productivity, the company will lose revenue and the margins registered by the company will reduce.

Legal Suits

            Under the law of the United States, any form of discrimination is outlawed by the constitution. More expressly, the United States law prohibits age discrimination against American folks above the age of 40 (Kunze et al., 2011). Companies that lack a diversity plan and are at risks of having age discrimination within their ranks run the risk of legal suits filed against them by the victims of age discrimination. This can have an effect of increasing the below the bottom-line costs that eat on the profit margins.

Steps for Diversity Plan

            As stated earlier, age discrimination can occur in all the levels of the recruitment cycle. To ensure that no age discrimination occurs at the workplace, the organization should have measures to prevent the age discrimination at all the steps of the employment cycle. The following are some of the steps and the measures that the plan for the company will take for prevention purposes.


            Advertisement of an employment opportunity entails putting up the position on media and laying down the requirements for the ideal candidate. As far as this organization is concerned, the advertisement should be put up in media outlets that have a diverse audience in terms of age (Gordon, 2018). For instance, if the old folks are mainly newspapers and radio listeners, the advertisement should be run in these channels. If the young folks are mainly social media users, the advertisement should also be run on this channels too.

Recruiting the Ideal Candidate

            The role of picking the ideal candidate after the recruitment process is supposed to be objective and on the basis of merit. However, the level of objectivity and merit is determined by the human resources panelists during the recruitment process (Gordon, 2018). In order to ensure that there is no age discrimination occurring, the panelists should document the performance of the participants in the interview summaries and indicate reasons why a particular candidate was chosen over the rest.

Compensation and Firing

            In order to prevent age discrimination in compensation and letting employees go, the organization should have a comprehensive human resource manual that stipulates all the procedures to be followed while letting employees go (Gordon, 2018). This manual should not in any way target any age group whatsoever. In terms of compensation, there should be a wage structure that regulates the compensation of employees. The wage structure should be informed by the employee’s qualification, merit as well as their experience.

Challenges of Implementation in the US and Global Workforce

            While implementing this diversity plan in the United States and at the global level, the process of implementation is likely to face problems and challenges. One of the challenges that the plan will face during implementation is that the process of implementation is costly. In order to effectively implement the plan, the organization will need to provide age diversity and discrimination training to its employees (Gordon, 2018). This helps the employees understand how the organization stands to gain from this. The process of training will cost money to the organization which also eats on to the profit margins that will be declared at the end of the financial year.

Control Measures

            Given the legal requirement to prevent the age discrimination at the workplace, the risks associated with age discrimination and the financial requirements to successfully implement an age diversity plan, it is important for the organization to financially plan for this. This can best be done through upfront budgetary allocations for age diversity training (Gordon, 2018). This will ensure that the relevant department will be able to plan on the execution and the implementation of the plan with little delays.


            Having stated that age discrimination is capable of happening across all the ages, implementation of measures at all the levels of the employment cycle is important in ensuring that age diversity is achieved. Achievement of age diversity is likely to save an organization from lost revenue and endless legal suits that are highly costly.


Kunze, F., Boehm, S. A., & Bruch, H. (2011). Age diversity, age discrimination climate and performance consequences—a cross-organizational study. Journal of organizational behavior32(2), 264-290.

Gordon, P. A. (2018). Age Diversity in the Workplace. In Diversity and Inclusion in the Global Workplace (pp. 31-47). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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