Age DiscriminationPosted on September 10th, 2012 under Wealth of Advice
By Francisco J. Colcayco
I am happy to be a Senior Citizen (60 years and above) and so are many of my friends. Republic Act 9994 “The Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010” dated Feb 15, 2010 gave us benefits like a 20% discount and exemption from VAT in the purchasing certain goods and services. It also provides for senior citizens ward in hospitals, social pension for indigent Senior Citizens, mandatory coverage of PhilHealth, access to formal and non-formal education, establishment of the Office of Senior Citizens Affair all over the country. Government is mandated to assist the elderly who desire to be re-employed through “job matching” programs.
However, even with the law giving assistance to the elderly, there are still no laws prohibiting companies who refuse to hire elderly persons or who discriminate on account of age. In the United States, there has been a law against age discrimination of those 40 years and older since 1967. The Philippine Constitution is against discrimination and there are laws prohibiting discrimination on account of gender.
Many senior citizens are happy not to be employed especially if they have saved up and invested enough to enjoy their retirement. This is precisely why I keep on repeating: Save as early as possible! Notice that 40 years old is the starting level protected in the United States so there must be a reason. It is the time when suddenly, everybody, including yourself, realizes you are not so young anymore.
Employees who are clearly being eased out by their employee because of their age, should not be so ready to give up without showing that their employer or company is wrong. Of course, this is for those who are clearly capable, trustworthy and dependable and it is the employer who has some hidden motives. Unfortunately, some people think so highly of themselves even if they are not really good for the company. You need to objectively understand how good you really are for your company before you start reacting. If all documentation and history in the hands of your company shows your inabilities, you might want to improve yourself first instead of assuming your employer is wrong.
If you are really a good employee and are just being misunderstood by certain people in the company, it will be good for you to immediately be more careful to show your good side and completely eliminate anything bad in your actions and mannerisms. You could be a shy type of person keeping quiet and staying out of the way even if you are doing everything good. Others who take advantage of your shyness might have been showing that they are better than you. Start overcoming your shyness and be more visible. Just be careful because making mistakes when you are already more visible might be worse for you.
Here are some signs that you are being perceived as “not good enough” or “too old” for your job.
- Even if you are clearly more capable for a better job or a promotion, a younger person is chosen.
- If you are moved to a position that has less responsibilities and/or less people to surpervise.
- You are more frequently questioned by your superiors on the same matters where you used to be the “authority.”
- Your performance ratings are no longer as good as they used to be.
- Your company seems to be hiring more of younger and more educated people.
The secret to not being a victim of Age Discrimination is, I think, two-fold.
First, always improve yourself. Don’t just think about your job by itself. Understand your company’s business completely. Be realistic about your capabilities in terms of your company’s business. Look for ways on how you can get training to be better in what you are capable of doing. Your employer will surely appreciate your desire to improve and might even help you.
Improve both your business and social network. Don’t just stick to friends and colleagues your age. Act your age and dress according to today’s trend for someone your age. Establish friendship with the young ones but don’t keep telling them stories about how life was during your time and don’t try to dress like a 30 year old when you are in your 50s. Keep an open mind about their ideas and don’t always think that your ideas are the only ones good enough to be considered. Carry yourself like a young person with vim, vigor and vitality.
Second and possibly more important, always be ready for retirement, early retirement, even better. We have talked about this so much. You just need to start as early as possible. From your first allowance if your parents teach you to put away and invest. Or from your first income if you teach yourself the personal financial principles that I have been talking about publicly for eight years now!
When you have kept yourself capable, updated and have enough savings and investments, you face life more positively and are less afraid of the challenges. This is not to say that you will be cocky and arrogant just because you can afford to leave your job. In fact, when you are unbearable in your behavior, you are probably insecure. It will show in your demeanor when you believe in yourself and are not trying too hard to prove yourself. Your success will come as a matter of course.
To learn more, you might want to attend our next Seminar. Please call 6373731 or 41 for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out www.colaycofoundation.com