I’m amazed at the schemes companies come up with to harass or get rid of older workers (that is, workers 40 years or older) in spite of the fact that there are state and federal laws forbidding discrimination against them. So what’s going on?

Companies frequently employ schemes to make older workers appear incompetent. They assign so much extra work to the worker that the worker cannot complete his or her regular duties. This extra work may include making the worker help or train other employees; making the worker write up activities unnecessarily; and making the worker attend frivolous meetings.

A company may also assign tasks to physically challenged workers that demand activity beyond the worker’s physical abilities. For example, a company assigned tasks that demanded a lot of walking to a physically challenged worker that was hired for desk work.

This therefore prevented the worker from completing her routine desk tasks. Workers are then given poor performance evaluations which may lead to a downgrade in job assignment or discharge.

“Don’t punish me with brutality. ..”

Companies sometimes employ other schemes to justify getting rid of older workers. A company may take away regular tasks from an older worker and assign them to someone else – usually someone younger. The company then declares that the worker is no longer needed because now there is a duplication of services. What’s going on?

When a company fires older workers, it may offer the worker a severance package, but all too often the company neglects to include in this package the fact that the worker has at least 21 days to sign it and 7 days after signing it to revoke it (the older workers protection act).

We’ve got to find a way to bring some understanding here today…

The understanding needed today is that older workers are capable and should be valued as good employees. If older workers are competent enough to train others, they’re competent enough to be retained and respected as good employees. I can’t understand why companies get away with blatant discrimination against older workers. What’s going on?

*Sung by Marvin Gaye