Essay Writing Samples

Ageism and Age Discrimination

Discrimination exists in many forms. Race and gender are the most common methods of discrimination, but this sample essay explores the argument that ageism is one of the great understated forms of discrimination in modern society.

Older adults and the lesser known discrimination

Ageism, also known as age discrimination, is a form of discrimination against a particular group specifically because of their age. The term came to use near the 1970’s as the issues of racism and sexism were of mass debate. Traditionally, the term has been used to describe discrimination towards older people because of their value compared to another in their physical prime. Ageism and age discrimination are forms of unconscious prejudice and discrimination because most don’t realize they are wrong and attach stereotypes to both old and young adults.

Ageism has also been used to describe discrimination towards younger individuals from older individuals such as expected behavior standards. Young people who experience ageism typically experience adults not valuing anything they say, no matter how correct or brilliant the idea may be, simply because of their age. This is very dangerous to have in a society, as it can greatly hinder the process of development in many ways.

Ageism is an irrational prejudice against someone because of their age. In reality, older people are filled with so much knowledge, wisdom, and experience while youthful people are filled with innovation, drive, and ambition. There are many people in the workplace environment who claim they have experienced discrimination because of their age. This article discusses the difficulties that come with proving that discrimination has taken place.

Supreme Court ruling regarding age discrimination

A recent Supreme Court ruling on Gross v. FBL Financial Services held that plaintiffs have to show that age was the primary motivating factor in deciding factor to claim age discrimination. With standards for proving discrimination have grown increasingly demanding, there are some tips for people who want to pursue a case worthwhile. The first tip is gathering evidence; evidence is very important in this type of case.

Emails, memos, and anything that promote unequal treatment should be collected and preserved if one wishes to combat discrimination. Documents and lines of evidence are much stronger than hearsay, due to hearsay not being permissible in civil or criminal law cases. Due to the non-tangible nature of discrimination, documented discrepancies are essential in showing that discrimination has taken place.

Increase in age-related discrimination complaints

An increasing amount of people are complaining of age discrimination in their workplace. But these cases are more difficult to prove than gender-based discrimination and racially motivated decisions. Unfortunately, the standards for proving discrimination based on age have recently been raised to a nearly unachievable level.

Now clients have to prove that age was the “but-for” reason for the action taken. Equal pay for women has also experienced a tightening legal shift which has made it more difficult for their class to prove that discrimination has taken place.

These shifts have been made on a federal level, but there is still hope for the state level. States are free to make their own laws against discrimination and they do. Minnesota, one of the leading states in anti-discrimination efforts, has constructed state discrimination laws make it possible for victims to seek remedy.

Laws have also been made that prohibit retaliation, the act of discriminating someone because they stood up to discrimination in the environment. As a whole, discrimination efforts, while still in need of further development, are further along today than they have been and for that, we should be thankful.


Ageism. (n.d.). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . Retrieved August 24, 2013, from

Phipps, J. L. (n.d.). Age Discrimination Tough To Prove | Mortgage Rates Credit Cards Refinance Home CD Rates by Retrieved August 24, 2013, from

Tanick, M. H. (n.d.). Age discrimination continues to grow | Star Tribune. News, weather, sports from Minneapolis, St. Paul and Minnesota. Retrieved August 24, 2013, from

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