Age Discrimination

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“Young people are proficient in the use of technology and social media, for older people it is the opposite” This is a generalization which can lead to discrimination. Of course there might be a large number of young people who are acquainted with technology and use social media, but not all. There are one the other hand, older people even in their 80s who can be considered tech and social media savvy. Most of the time, this can impair our dealings with other people. In the belief that older people are less techies, a potential employer might not consider them for employment not knowing that the applicant has more experience and very proficient with the use of technology and social media. A loss for the employer who had the chance of having a reliable employee work for him but unfortunately his prejudice hindered him from hiring one. This is of course the sole prerogative and decision of an employer who has to weigh all possible factors in hiring his employees to make sure his business or enterprise will prosper. Businesspeople might prefer an environment where there is less interference or regulation with their business decisions. There are however several laws in our country which to some impose restriction to private business. One of these laws is the labor law. The purpose for the enactment of this is very noble because it protects the lowly laborer against the oppressive policies of the employer. Another is the Anti Age Discrimination In Employment Act passed in 2016.

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Republic Act No. 10911

This law basically prohibits discrimination by reason of the age of the applicant or employee. It prohibits the publication of preference as to age in advertisements soliciting applications for employment. The employer cannot also require the declaration of age or date of birth during the application process and decline employment by reason of age. Discrimination in terms of compensation and privileges by reason of age is also prohibited. Laying off or forcibly requiring the employee to retire by reason of age are likewise prohibited.

When it comes to the publication on the preference of a certain age of potential employees, will it not give the applicants false hope when in the end the hiring is the exclusive prerogative of the employee and they will not be hired anyway? Why did the law not also prohibit the declaration of the applicant’s sex, religion or church, previous employment, and other information usually asked or required of applicants? Yet again, in my opinion pre-employment should be the sole prerogative of the employer but it is during employment that our laws should be more strict. A business owner should be given the freedom to choose who he and his other employee can work with for the prosperity of his business. It will be his own look out if his choice will be influenced by his own prejudice and fail to see the abilities or potential of potential employees. The business is his in the first place.

I have yet to read or hear if indeed there was an instance when this law was implemented. It might be harsh to say that this law is useless, but it should send the message that discrimination has no place in our society. Indeed, any form of discrimination has to be eliminated but this behavior is deeply rooted in so many factors such as our history, education, culture, government, laws, and even religion. It might take centuries before our prejudices can entirely vanish and it might not be very bad idea if our society will start now.

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