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Understanding Issues with Wages

Issues With Wages

Age discrimination in the workplace is a serious and widespread problem in the United States. Employers will often refuse to hire an individual based on his/her age. An employer may also discriminate against a certain age group through wage disparities. Age discrimination in the workplace may target elderly employees or young individuals.

A common belief is that elderly individuals receive smaller wages, because elderly employment is reserved for people that were unable to obtain substantial finances for retirement. Elderly employment is often associated with low-paying and unskilled jobs. For example, many elderly individuals are employed as cashiers in grocery stores. However, this association often results from the consumer's ability to directly observe these individuals working while they (the consumer) engage in this everyday activity.

Since the majority of consumers rarely come into contact with elderly individuals that are employed as stock brokers, lawyers, and businessmen, elderly employment is generally not connected with these types of high-paying jobs. Nevertheless, it is possible for elderly individuals to hold high-paying positions. In fact, statistics and information indicate that elderly employees generally receive higher wages than younger individuals. This is often due to frequent raises resulting from many years of loyal service to the same company.

Younger employees also have much less work experience than most of the elderly. Employment experience undoubtedly affects an individual's income. Because elderly individuals generally have more work experience than young employees, elderly employees may be granted a higher income.

Another factor that will impact income is an individual's education. In many cases, an individual who has received a degree from a college or a university will be offered higher-paying positions than individuals who have not attained a secondary education.

Today, a large portion of high school graduates continue their education in college. However, this percentage was significantly lower forty years ago. As a result, many elderly employees do not have the same education as young employees and are therefore cannot offered the same opportunities.

Factors associated with age discrimination in the workplace vary a great deal. It is difficult to say whether elderly individuals obtain lower wages than younger employees because there are so many different variables that affect an employee's income. A company may limit income due to inefficiency, lack of education, and decreased productivity, things unfortunately associated with elderly employment.

On the other hand, young employees are subject to age discrimination in the workplace due to inexperience. Young employees are also subject to federal labor laws that allow employers to limit their income. Despite concrete evidence indicating age discrimination in the workplace resulting in decreased wages for elderly employees, statistics do indicate that elderly employees are much more likely to be laid off, forced into early retirement, or not hired due to over qualification.

In today's economic climate, employers seek to limit spending by minimizing employee wages. Therefore, many companies will not hire applicants with a great deal of experience because he/she will require a larger income. Also, if a company is forced to lay off employees, it will often cut the oldest employees.

Generally, these individuals have obtained a high salary because they have worked at the same company for many years. Therefore, laying off elderly individuals will tend to decrease company spending more effectively than laying off young employees.

NEXT: What Is The Role of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

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