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Employers in Tennessee and throughout the country could be engaging in ageism and not even realize it. It is also possible for older workers themselves to engage in this practice. However, treating employees differently based on their age could result in the loss of experienced employees who may be a wealth of knowledge to a company. While this may harm any company, the loss of talented workers can especially be harmful to smaller businesses.

One sign of ageism within a company is offering training opportunities to younger employees instead of older ones. Although an employer may assume that an older worker has the knowledge and experience necessary, it is never too late to learn a new skill. When scheduling corporate outings or other events, the activities planned should be suitable for workers of all ages. It may be considered ageism to engage in activities that may put older workers at a disadvantage.

Workers who don’t feel valued may not put forth as much effort. Therefore, management should talk to older workers who may seem like they’re dropping off. In some cases, offering a training opportunity or other recognition may help that person find a purpose at work again.

If an employer engages in age discrimination, it may be possible for workers to take legal action. Victims may obtain compensation in the form of punitive damages. It might also be possible to get back pay or other damages if an employee is terminated for making a complaint. An attorney may be helpful in reviewing a case or taking steps to help an employee gather evidence to bolster a claim.