Age Discrimination at the Workplace

men walking on stairs
Type: Vocabulary
Originally published on November 11, 2020 and last updated on February 4, 2023

In the past, discrimination of all kinds was common in the workplace, but nowadays there are many laws and policies in place that prevent businesses from discriminating against people by gender, race, age etc.

Although most would agree that any kind of discrimination is bad, some argue that it is not always the case and that discrimination that is purely a business decision should be allowed. People over a certain age are often discriminated against as they are quite often wrongly seen as “out of touch” or not possessing the skills that a younger person would have. Due to this, it is increasingly more difficult for older people to find work as, although they have experience, their age is seen as a negative from the employer’s perspective.

Go through the vocabulary below with your students and ask them to try and use this vocabaulry where possible when discussing the different conversation questions.

Useful Vocabulary

Try and use the following vocabulary when answering the question. Click to look up the definition in the dictionary

  • discrimination (noun)
  • discriminate (verb)
  • employee (noun)
  • employer (noun)
  • employ (verb)
  • workplace (noun)
  • nowadays (adverb)
  • skill (noun)
  • perspective (noun)
  • hire (verb)

Conversation Questions

  • Should business owners be allowed to discriminate by age when hiring someone?
  • Do you think people are discriminated against because of their age where you work?
  • What reasons do you think an employer would prefer to employ a younger person rather than an older person?
  • Do you think these reasons are justified?
  • Do you think employers should be forbidden by law from discriminating against people by age?
This conversation topic was prepared by Gregory

Gregory is a qualified TEFL teacher who has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (ESL) for over a decade. He has taught in-person classes in Spain and to English learners around the world online.