Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Age Discrimination in the Workplace

  • Piers Bayl-SmithEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_582-1


Age discrimination in the workplace is defined by differential behavior exhibited toward an employee on the basis of their chronological age. While age discrimination can be directed toward workers of all ages, in the context of older workers, age discrimination includes preferential treatment toward younger employees in terms of job selection, promotion, personal and professional development, forced redundancies and performance reviews (Griffin et al. 2017). Informally, employees can also experience discrimination at work through the expression of ageist attitudes, derisive language, and social isolation (Giles and Gasiorek 2011). Research often makes important distinction between actual discrimination from perceived discrimination; the latter referring to an employee’s subjective perception of having been a recipient of discriminatory behavior (Griffin et al. 2016).


The prevalence of age discrimination in the workplace has been difficult to determine due to a lack...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyMacquarie UniversitySydneyAustralia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Sheri R. Levy
    • 1
  1. 1.Stony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA