Please You Better Respect My Generation!
Richard L. White, a former director of career services at Rutgers University for 22 years, recently joined three other employees over the age of 60 and sued Rutgers for age discrimination. According to the New York Times, one of the employees who had spent more than 40 years at Rutgers, claimed Gregory Jackson, the university president’s chief staff “kept asking us when we were going to retire.”
Rutgers has to be cringing. Regardless of how this case winds up, the bad publicity from what the New York Times calls a “contentious workplace issue” isn’t good for business, no matter how you slice it.
If you look at the statistics from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “age discrimination claims are on the rise as members of the post-World War II baby boom enter their 60s. Last year, 22,857 people filed age-related complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, compared with 16,548 in 2006,” according to the New York Times.
We’ll leave it up to the courts to decide who’s right but already much damage has been done to both sides. Still there’s a silver lining. Mary, a corporate trainer on diversity, uses this type of current news to sensitize executives who might not otherwise want to sit through a diversity or harassment training. She says, once they see a current situation, they all want to learn how to prevent this from happening at their company. That means learning self-awareness, effective communication and generational understanding .”It’s all about perception. Even if you’re innocent, if it is perceived that you mean harm, the damage is done.”
Click here to watch free video previews to some good and popular diversity and harassment trainings on sale until the end of the year.