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The Big Fix

There’s a lot you can do; and some things you can’t

➔ We spoke with a woman vice president from a very well known Fortune 100 company who said that from time to time she had to remind her subordinates of their responsibilities. She said, “If you have a problem or an issue, don’t immediately come to me to whine and complain about it, FIX IT!”

She wasn’t one to mince words. (Obviously.) The same can be said of age discrimination in the workplace.

The framework is in place

On December 15, 1967 President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The law was intended to “forbid employment discrimination against anyone at least 40 years of age.”

The law took effective in June, 1968. In case your math skills are a little rusty, that was nearly 55 years ago.

Yet, after more than a half century, we’re still seeing countless reports of people complaining about ageism in the workplace; filing lawsuits; and demanding more legislation to protect older workers. Apparently there were some employers who didn’t get the memo about the law.

Despite all those well intentions, at the end of the day, if you want to do something about age discrimination in the workplace, you had better plan to fix it yourself. No one can fix ageism for us. The question then beckons, how?

As you investigate various employers, those who practice age discrimination in one form or another will become readily apparent. Pay attention. Keep your eyes and ears open. Talking to people “in the street,” and you’ll learn who the offenders are.

The best remedy for you? Avoid them like the plague. Don’t waste your time on them. You’re not going to change their minds. You need a job now. Focus your time and your efforts on those employers who recognize the benefits of hiring someone older, with experience, with proven expertise.

Someone like you.


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