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Age discrimination: older workers keeping up with new technology

Residents in Minnesota understand the importance of having a career. Some workers have been at the same job for decades and do not have the desire to change their career path until they hit retirement age. Although it is fairly common for employees to remain with the same company or within the same field during their entire working life, some older workers fear that they will become outdated.

A recent report indicated that the fact that new and better technology is released at a growing rate means that employees need to stay on top of things. This task is fairly easy and common for younger generations because they seek to not only understand new technology, but they also seek to own it. This is not as common for older generations, and, at times, it is difficult for older employees to stay on top of the ever expanding technological landscape.

Furthermore, the report also indicated that older employees tend to join social media sites and purchase smartphones in order to appear up to speed. Some admitted that they felt intimidated witnessing their colleges share videos and share information through social media sites on their phones. This in turn caused them to ask them how to do those things so they could also follow this trend. Even if it is not something they want to do, it is something they think they need to be able to do to stay up to date and desirable in the workplace.

If a worker is fired based on their age that is considered wrongful discharge due to age. Age discrimination is a real problem in the workplace because it is common for companies to jump on the bandwagon and update how they run and manage things. Because it is often the young tech savvy employees that take over positions, some older employees fear that they will encounter forced retirement.

Employees who feel that they have been discriminated at the workplace based on their age or are a victim of wrongful termination should understand that they have rights and options. This might mean filing a claim against their employer, and the employee should be well advised when making this decision.

Source: Star Tribune, "Staying Vital, Part 2: Don't be a tech fossil," Katie Humphrey, Oct. 28, 2013

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