60-year-old worker wins age discrimination case
Last year, an RBC poll found that 85% of yet-to-be retired baby boomers believe they'll work until they choose not to. But, among those who've actually retired, only 62% actually had that choice.
That's changing, of course. Now that provincial governments have struck down laws allowing employers to sack staff once they turned 65, businesses are more cautious when about weeding out higher-paid older workers through early-retirement incentives or outright layoffs.
In fact, even talking about retirement with older employees can get you into trouble, warns Toronto lawyer Colin Kelly.
Any comments that an employee might reasonably interpret as encouraging retirement, even if well-intentioned, may result in employers being charged with aged-based discrimination, according to a recent Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario ruling.
Recently, a 60 year-old employee who was eligible to retire with an unreduced pension and who admitted that she had previously discussed her plans to leave work, claimed that her manager discriminated against her by initiating conversations about the advantages of retirement.
Despite the fact that the manager’s comments “were not made with an intention to discriminate or disparage the [employee] on the basis of her age,” and the fact that his comments were well intentioned, the Tribunal awarded her $7,000 for injury to her dignity, feelings and self-respect.
As a result, employers would be wise to stick to providing only neutral facts and direct employees to company policies on retirement, Kelly suggests.
In fact, until someone provides formal notice of retirement, employers would be wise to avoid treating employees as is they were going to retire because of their age.
Has anyone at work had an unwelcome "perhaps it's time to go?" discussion with you? Were you offended? Did you feel threatened?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money
Posted by: Patrick | Apr 2, 2021 9:41:17 AM
7,000 for hurt Feelings? Talking about retirement is now an affront to Self- Respect and Dignity?
The only point in time this woman lost self-respect and dignity was when she sought claims for these fictitious claims. I'd love to say I'm shocked or surprised at this turn of events but, every story released just shows that baby boomers are the most selfish, self serving generation the world has ever seen. Won't retire from their high paying posts so that we can pay someone half their age and just as qualified less to get the job done. Seeking damages for something as ridiculous and transient as hurt feelings over a discussion about retirement, saddle bagging the generations to come with unbelievable entitlements which won't exist by the time we're even halfway to retirement (OAS, Defined Benefits Pension Plans, CPP, etc, etc.)
It's unbelievable that the provinces as well struck down laws for mandatory retirement. It will be incredible when this mess blows up in the faces of the government. Back to the days of MP's literally dying in their seats in the house. People who are so old clinging to a job they claim as their identity only to the detriment of the department or company they work for as they can't adapt, change or keep pace but, we better not talk to them otherwise they'll sue us for hurt feelings, and a loss of dignity and self-respect. No self-respecting person would stay in a post long after they are relevant or can keep pace but, well that fat p aycheque sure is nice...
Posted by: Darwin Recuitment Agent | Apr 2, 2021 1:17:42 PM
Sweet Mutthaa of Buddha... another sick old broad with hurt feelings getting a stack of cash from some feel good tribunal. Much like the settlement old bag who sued McDonald's 'cause their coffee cup didn't have a warning statement that the contents may be hot.
Hopefully her manager won't comment favorably on her new hairdoo the next time she comes in to work... otherwise she's sue him for harrassment.
Forget retirement for this gOLD digger... send her to a retirement home with 24/7 bingo amenities.
Posted by: Ananka | Apr 3, 2021 2:42:28 PM
Strange how some people feel about older people working beyond the normal retirement age. What are they afraid of? To me, the only reason one would feel that way is because they do not have the experience, education or drive to work. The generation which seems to be raising the most issues with the subject are for the most part degreed idiots (read "if it's not in the book it can't be done") with no experience and no common sense, or the likes of the previous poster Darwin who by the sound of his post, missed the evolutionary train. Older workers are usually far more tech savvy than the youner ones where it counts and spend endless hours teaching these people with degrees plastered all over their walls how to use computer programs so they can do their jobs. Trouble is, omce they suck all this info from you, they make sure you are cast aside like yesterday's garbage instead of maintaining a relationship with the older worker and gleaning even more knowledge. Older workers are for the most part delighted to share what has taken them a lifetime to learn with the younger workers. That should be worth the bigger pay cheque because you can't put a price tag on that kind of knowledge.
You complainers and whiners about older people "stealing" your jobs must remember that you too are aging and your day will come when someone tries to stick a knife in your back because your hair is grey! The problem that is just being realized by companies, albeit a little late, is that there really are not enough qualified people in the whiners age bracket to do the jobs, therefore keeping older employees is a benefit rather than a detriment, otherwise you end up with workers like the first person who claims older workers, not in so many words of course, are useless drains on society. Well, someday you'll be there too collecting unbelievable entitlements and fat pay cheques.. How willing would you be to give it up? As for a job that you love and have put your heart and soul into for many years being an identity, that's true. It also gives a feeling of self worth and usefullness to a person and keeps them young and on their toes. There is also a special work ethic that goes along with the older worker. We attend work, daily, on time, don't decide to take extra time off at a critical juncture of a project, work full days and do not consider ourselves to be "entitled" to do what we please when we please and still collect the big pay. It is a generation of dreamers out there now and all of a sudden the real world is going to sneak up and bite them in the ass!!!
Posted by: Sam | Apr 3, 2021 10:36:06 PM
This move to end employment age discrimination is long, long overdue.
I'm still quite a few years away from that point, but with most pensions (private, government, etc) being trashed I am fairly certain that there will be no retirement for any tail end babyboomers, Gen-X'ers or Gen-Y. The sooner that Businesses learn to adapt to that change the better (pay for performance for every level might be a good start). ID & SIN cards that only identify you as being above 18 would also be another good thing to move towards.
My Great Grandfather worked till his early 90's (when he died), my Grandfather worked till his mid 70's (retired for a decade), My father is in his mid 70's and still working (had to move out west for a bit because of the mandatory retirement age in Ont) and if luck holds I'll be working past 80.
We should all be working from high school age on-wards (through university, etc).
But... we shouldn't be working more than 30 hours a week. (and with 6 weeks off a year).
Let's make work enjoyable. If my family can do it, why not everyone?
Posted by: Mamooshka | Apr 4, 2021 8:18:44 PM
gOLD digger .... hahahaha
Posted by: Alison Wonderland | Apr 7, 2021 2:51:03 AM
I'm going to go against the grain here.
I DO have a problem with old people refusing to leave their jobs. If they don't clear out, the younger ones cannot get jobs. Most of these old timers are not in need of money - they continue to work because they don't want to be bored. Meanwhile, some poor schmuck can't put food on the table or buy a decent house because there are no jobs in his/her profession.
How is that fair?
These lawsuits are ridiculous and frivolous - just like the new legislation stating that no one can speak of retirement.
As far as I'm concerned, once the elders hit the magical age (65-70) they need to be outsted - whether they like it or not. Bored? Go volunteer.
Posted by: Lynne | Apr 7, 2021 3:05:21 AM
In response to Alison, I feel that many older people (not OLD people please) continue to work so that they too can put food on the table, not simply because they are bored. Unfortunately there are many older workers in lower paid jobs who simply cannot afford to retire.
Posted by: LK | Apr 7, 2021 7:45:45 AM
Well said Ananka. To Patrick who clearly cannot find a job--we all know why after reading your post. It has nothing to do with mature employees choosing to stay on or not. I pity your parents who are obviously supporting you and will be likely be doing so to the day they die. Hence, why your parents may not be in a position to ever retire from their jobs. Stop whining and start pouring coffee somewhere. Pour that coffee with a smile instead of a poor attitude and I guarantee you doors will open for you--just like it did for the mature employees who paid their dues to secure employment. PS: @Patrick--I bet you would have no difficulty taking money in an inheritance from one of these mature employees would you? Yes, I thought so.
Posted by: Laura | Apr 7, 2021 9:33:11 AM
Ananka, are you an idiot? Older employees teaching the younger ones to use computer programs? Most of the computer programs used in industry are taught in university programs. On top of that my real world experience tells me that the older people in the workplace THINK they know how to use computers, but they make a ton of mistakes, don't know shortcuts, and take much longer to do the same work I can do more efficiently and effectively. Are there exceptions? Of course! But for the most part I wouldn't say that older employees are more "tech savvy". They may have more industry knowledge that the up and coming generation should try to learn from, but "tech savvy" is one of the biggest pulls to hiring younger employees.
I agree with Patrick. The younger generation has been left with a big employment mess to clean up. Thank goodness for my large RRSP, self-funded pension and retirement plans. Because unlike what everyone will assume, despite my well founded complaints, I have a well paying job, in the industry of my choice. But it's discouraging that there's very little chance of me getting any promotions or upper management level jobs in the near future despite my multiple degrees and over a decade of relevant industry experience.
Is this because I'm a working mom in my mid 20s? Is it because I'm a woman? Is it because I'm young? Or is it because older employees just won't leave even when they start making more mistakes, and doing poorly at their jobs and don't care because they are "almost going to retire".
I'm not saying that it's not unfair to try to edge out older employees as they get closer to retirement age. My 60 year old mother has no intention of retiring... well... maybe ever, LOL! She lives for her job. But if a company can save money by providing incentives to a 60 year old employee who secretly plans on retiring at 65 for retiring a few years early... doesn't it make sense to do so?
Posted by: O-M-G! | Apr 7, 2021 9:34:16 AM
It is time to end age discrimination. The pharmaceutical industry is one such sector that engages heavily in age discrimination, yet is never spoken of. For instance, at the age of 49, a male pharmaceutical rep was given a package. He was replaced by a younger pharmaceutical rep. Now 20 years later, his son, who worked in the pharmaceutical industry until recently, at the age of 48 was given a package as well. He was replaced by a 35 year old.
Posted by: Marie | Apr 7, 2021 9:36:19 AM
Sure, young people want the older workers to be ousted so they can get a job all the while protesting that these workers will be receiving too much money from the pension plan that they contributed to for 35-50 years. Make up your mind! Either the older workers are allowed to retire with enough money to pay for the necessities of life or they are allowed to work to put food on the table. And remember that these people started to work at very low salaries, not something the younger generation would consider these days. They want the big salaries while doing what they want to do, when they want to show up for work and have all the vacation days they want. Pfffttttt, employers should be leery of these people. I am afraid that with their attitudes, they won't perform.
Posted by: Alexandra | Apr 7, 2021 10:40:54 AM
I had once that comment from one of my co-workers stating just because I said as a comment I was feeling tired due to long hours of work, she made a comment to the manager of the office that is time to get retire, and at the end the expression of laugh, I found that comment very discouraging and I'm only 50 Years old.
Posted by: Patricia | Apr 7, 2021 10:41:09 AM
At age 50 a knife was in my back in my place of employment. I did go to Human Rights, and I was not paid $7000.00 for loss of pay , pride and dignity. I ended up as a welfare recipient and yes I still volunteer at age 60+. You know what is sad about this is that you as the YOUTH who are out there without jobs have no clue as too what happens in the workplace to accommodate you with your degrees. The degrees plastered on your walls are the results of someone else's THESIS, hard work, and experience. You have not yet contributed anything that would make us respect you the same way you disrespect us.
Posted by: Bobby44 | Apr 7, 2021 11:23:20 AM
Those who ask mature employees to stand aside so they can advance should take their own advise and stand aside so recent graduates can get an entry level job! Fair is Fair, not?
If a person can do the job - they should have to opportunity to do that job. That is what it is about. An employer who rejects ANY segment of the workforce is placing their organization at a disadvantage. And any organization that would hire and promote people who advocate that has a death wish. ( You know who you are. Maybe your employer knows too.)
We already see job sharing and shorter work weeks etc. to accommodate various employee needs. Good stuff!
Sadly we can sue anyone at anytime. If you use the discrimination thing you are a winner! Just how much. So the truth is THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK.
Posted by: Scarlet | Apr 7, 2021 11:29:00 AM
I turn 65 later this month. Two years ago I was laid off from my ten-year post due to downsizing. Company was flagging financially, so it was no big surprise. Try as I might I have not since been successful in moving past that first in-person interview. On the phone most potential employers sounded impressed by my CV -- which, I should add, includes all the extra training I took to upgrade my tech skills over my 45 years in the job market -- and "couldn't wait" to see me, but as soon as we had met face to face, I never heard from anyone again, except the (very) few good souls who had the courtesy to let me know the post had been filled. This has happened far too often for me to believe this was anything other than Age Discrimination. Forced to take advantage of the early retirement CPP and a small pension, I also am reliant on the government for supplements to keep me fed and clothed pending receipt of the OAP. I am very fortunate in that my mortgage was paid off seven years ago and I carry no other debts. But this is not the case for most folks virtually forced from their jobs and it sickens me to read/hear the attitude of the young uni and college grads who complain we more mature grown-ups are taking "their" jobs while they must settle for KFC or MacDonalds. I probably have worked harder in my life than most ever will . Shame on you all!
Posted by: Cath | Apr 7, 2021 11:29:51 AM
I am a little off topic from the subject, but, I am a 57 year old single female. I must support myself. I work in a minimum wage, part time job, outside in all weather because I can not seem to obtain an office job for which I am qualified with over ten years experience. I am underemployed to say the least and just surviving.
I have gone to interviews and been told that the office culture was a young environment, I wouldn't fit in with all those swinging thirty year olds. I have gone to interviews where I was applying to replace a woman who is on maternity leave but was asked whether I wouldn't be thinking of retiring soon. To that one I answered, no, I wasn't going to retire soon and I could guarantee I wouldn't be going away on maternity leave either. It seems at that point the hiring manager has made up his own young mind that I am too old to be working and might affect the company's brand.
I know I sound bitter, but I am. I am always pleasant in interviews and I know how to behave, I have experience and I don't act like an ancient literary version of a grandmother. Do I think there is discrimination? YES
Posted by: Lindsay | Apr 7, 2021 11:41:48 AM
People retire when they can afford to. Many older workers put their kids through college and university, traveled and vacationed while they were working, and bought above their needs and now can not afford to retire.
A lot of professions do not have the skilled workers needed to fill the jobs if the older workers retire, so they stay on the job until someone with the right skills comes along. We, here in Canada, are so short of qualified electricians, plumbers, etc. that we are bringing in foreign workers. No one wants to work with their hands anymore or get dirty.
As an employment counsellor I am constantly hearing employers complain about the lack of skills the young have, and from the young I keep hearing that the skills/common sense that employers are looking for is unreasonable. Well, if you need a plumber you sort of expect him to know that water runs down hill now don't you. Just saying!
Posted by: malcolm boniface | Apr 7, 2021 1:59:20 PM
unfortunately I was forced to retire at the magic age of 65?. two months later you had a choice. but not me. altho we fought the mandatory retirement age for years we were denied the privilages other workers were enjoying. I think it should be up to the individual, providing they are medically fit,when to retire. as to the the award it seems to be the more crazy the claim the bigger the payout.
have you seen the number of people living to be well into there 90s and over and still mentaly sharpe?
Posted by: Thintheherd | Apr 7, 2021 2:57:21 PM
Old people working when they don't need to because they have good pensions and enough money not to, keeps younger people from being able to move into the job world and they have far more productive years ahead of them solely based on the numbers, (generally, someone who is 60 is going to die before someone who is 25). It's just greed on the older persons part. You would think they would want to move over and let the young start to build a life, especially with the sad state of the economy and the scarcity of jobs. Not all young people are degreed, self entitled idiots, a lot of young people are no different than the elders were at their age.
Eventually, it is time for the old guard to fade back and the new guard to step forward. For example, I think it's ridiculous for a 65 year old teacher to be teaching Kindergarten. A younger teacher would be far more relatable to 5 year olds and also have more energy, physically and mentally to keep up with young ones. (They would also be less jaded and more idealistic because they haven't served 50+ years yet, so they would be better for the young kids). No wonder Mcpukes is requiring bachelor degrees to work there. They are the only kind of jobs available now. I have no plans on working when I am old, I plan on moving over for the young and enjoying my last few years seeing and experiencing life....I am 43 now, so I am neither young or old and ageism either way hasn't affected me yet, I'm speaking only from my own personal view as an interested observer.
Posted by: jack | Apr 7, 2021 5:04:30 PM
I find it quite humorous to see straw man after straw man after straw man from the "mature" older generation that somehow feels that they are the only ones in history to have ever accomplished anything. Surprise surprise, you've done things with your lives that you may be proud of at the ripe old age of stegosaurus. You want to know why the youngest generation hasn't accomplished what you have yet? Because they are young and TRYING to get started. You've made it very clear that you're all quite resentful of university graduates, but going to university is the only way we can get jobs. As it is, most of those jobs are worthless service jobs. Stop whining about a "lack of respect." We have LONG since passed the time when growing old was something special. 500 years ago it was special to live past the age of 60, today the average lifespan of Canadians is nearly 80. It is not something worthy of respect. I am always respectful, but only truly respect those worthy of it. Most people are not deserving of true respect.
What I want to get across most clearly is: Do not think you more important because you have done things or been around longer, we just have not had a chance.
Posted by: jiminedm | Apr 7, 2021 5:34:12 PM
the new corporations have no place for seniors, younger to them is better, fresher, faster and easier to replace.
Posted by: Jody | Apr 7, 2021 5:40:14 PM
There are a lot of people reaching retirement age, but due to the money spent on their 20-40 year old children, who still feel their parents should be paying for everything they and their children want or need in life, couldn't retire if they wanted to.
How does this younger generation think their parents are going to replace the money loaded (given) to their children. You think their children are planning to pay them back, not a chance, they don't feel they owe it.
To say there isn't enough jobs in Canada for everyone is not true. When I started out there wasn't any work where I lived, everyone moves where the work was, that's what adults do, children stay at home.
Posted by: O | Apr 7, 2021 5:42:42 PM
You can say anything you want about the younger generation and it's valid; say the same negative garbage about older people and it's discrimination. Double Standards. Whoever can do the job is the best option; and assuming that an older person is more qualified because of their age or experience is ridiculous; if you're main job deals with social media and you're just learning what "the facebook" is, you are not RIGHT for the job no matter what you think.
Posted by: Jyl | Apr 7, 2021 6:21:28 PM
Discrimination is alive and well. How about the hiring of seniors, a practice which is nearly non-existent? If capable, minimum wage jobs ought to go to include these people as candidates, rather than as automatic outcasts. Plenty of seniors have trouble making ends meet, in view of the cost of living and ever rising prices. In fact many single seniors live in poverty, yet are, by rote, ostracised from the workplace. We think we live in a progressive society, here, with discrimination at a minimum?! There are so many places in the world that respect seniors, but Canada is not among these.
Posted by: me | Apr 7, 2021 7:06:19 PM
What's the point in having retirement age if no one is going to retire at that age. It should be compulsory especially in professional positions. That way the younger generation has a chance for a job. It's not happening right now. Why else would there be high employment rate? Too many seniors still working.
Posted by: To be Fair | Apr 7, 2021 7:11:53 PM
@Jody: You so have it bang on! Gimme, gimme, gimme is all the generation under 40 wants and expects. Unfortunately, parents ought to have told them to pay their own way for college and university so that parents could actually afford to retire at 60 perhaps! Many of my professional colleagues are so disgusted with this current generation that they would not hire them if ANYONE retired to 'replace' them. Now I now why. The unemployment rate may be close to 20% for 18 to 24 year olds, but that still means 80% are employed! I will bet you not one of those employed is whining on this site. They are actually contributing to society!
Posted by: Jekyl | Apr 7, 2021 7:12:25 PM
I will agree to allowing seniors to work past 65 as long as each and every seniors discount and benefit they are eligible for is adjusted to reflect their working status.
Posted by: LOL | Apr 7, 2021 7:23:57 PM
@Jekyl: Do you mean OAS for which they had to contribute 30 plus years for??? Honestly? Really? You need to continue to ask for a student discount for bus far fella. Better yet, how about your welfare cheque? Who is paying for that? Seniors!!! PS: Have you shared this post with your grandmother or grandfather too? I bet not. You would never see your 'expected' inheritance.
Posted by: Justice | Apr 7, 2021 7:29:01 PM
It seems to me that a lot of the older commentators here are missing the point. The article is about Baby Boomers who DO have the financial means to retire, yet for reasons that are both arcane and selfish, they continue to work in jobs that are needed by younger people. Nobody is really suggesting that 65 year olds who do NOT have the means to retire should be forced to do so. It seems to me that a big part of the problem is that the Boomers, as a generation, tend to be incredibly materialistic and obsessed with a standard of living that is based on luxury consumption.
Then, they have the nerve to turn around and criticize younger generations for not yet having done anything to earn their precious respect? Are you serious? I, for one, miss the "greatest generation." They knew about hardship, they fought a world war and worked hard for our collective benefit - really their only big mistake was fostering the selfishness and materialism of their Boomer kids. Their greatest accomplishments? Doing plenty of drugs, cutting taxes and trying to abolish meaningful government regulation of the economy. Time for us to give them the most resounding slow clap of all time.
Posted by: Made my own way | Apr 7, 2021 7:44:28 PM
@Justice: You are clearly unemployed and if not, you will be. So what you are saying is that an entrepreneur who makes a 'retirable' living by age 30 should likewise 'retire'? Count your blessings these people are doing business so that you can enjoy their services and/or products. Get off your derriere and work at whatever the marketplace deems you suitable (both in attitude, education and experience). Sadly, too many young people are doing illicit drugs and look like zombied raccoons as well as barelly spelling their street address correctly applying for work. This just makes mature workers want to stay working longer...if this is the best this younger generation has to offer...yikes! Personally, I want to work as a long as I can to hire private care support so that I can terminate anyone of you with this disgusting ageism attitude.