Over the past few weeks I’ve had the privilege to speak to several groups of transitioning military personnel. On the minds of most of the more senior folks is the fear of age discrimination. Now bear in mind that most of these people are in their early 40s which seems old in a 20-year career but for folks in their 50s and 60s, the threat of age discrimination, whether real or perceived, is paralyzing.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids age discrimination against people who are age 40 or older. It covers discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.
That’s the law. The letter of the law. Does the law get broken? Absolutely.
Maybe the real issues isn’t the age of a person, but the perception and stereotype that follows age. These stereotypes are best explained using a model by Chris Argyris known as The Ladder of Inference, which you can see defined in this video.
If you’re the victim of this stereotyping, whether real or perceived, you have two ...