Age has been used as a discriminatory measure in the workforce for decades in Colorado and across the country. With the sudden arrival of COVID-19, there seems to be an even bigger gap between younger and older employees as more work moves online. The ability to understand and utilize technological platforms may not have been on the job description, but for many workers, it has become a crucial component to performing tasks well.
One professor points out the positives of being an older employee in a time of technological takeover. The soft skills they have been able to master over time are more easily adaptable to working in any environment when taught how to properly work the platforms behind teleworking. Older workers can think critically and communicate with other employees, skills that are essential for most jobs.
The ability to have a tradeable skill is what translates into a strength for the employer. Once that trade becomes obsolete, or a certain position is no longer needed, it is the firm’s job to ensure that the people who held those positions are being trained in a skill that can again be useful for the company. Any business student will say that keeping an old customer is much cheaper than bringing in a new one, and the same goes with employees. Simple training on a day-to-day basis can save the company money by hiring from within. Yet, according to a 2019 Hiscox Ageism in the Workplace study, over 60% of workers did not receive ageism training in the past year.
Employees may find that they have been wrongfully treated by an employer, such as being overlooked for a promotion or even terminated. They are protected under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and should be aware of what actions they can legally take. An employment law may be able to explain a worker’s rights and the options available for pursuing compensation.