12 Steps for Age Discrimination Compliance & Maximizing Workplace Inclusivity

Preventing age discrimination is about rooting out ageist attitudes and guarding against the subtle forms of age discrimination they may lead to.


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Get Your FREE Model Policy to Stay 100% Compliant!

Age discrimination tends to be a blind spot in organizational efforts to comply with anti-discrimination laws. While general anti-discrimination policies mention age discrimination, they rarely address the topic specifically. Here’s an age discrimination template that you can use, either as a freestanding policy or as an addition to incorporate into your general anti-discrimination policy.

Age Discrimination Legislation in Canada

Human rights laws make it illegal to discriminate against job applicants and employees on the basis of age. While requirements vary by jurisdiction, employment discrimination typically includes:

  • Refusing to employ or continue to employ somebody due to their age;
  • Imposing differential and less favorable terms of employment based on a person’s age;
  • Using or circulating any job ad, employment application form, asking applicants direct questions about or other communication that indicates a preference or limitation based on age;
  • Harassing a person due to age;
  • Retaliating against a person for complaining about age discrimination; and
  • Expelling, excluding or limiting a person’s participation in a trade union or other employment-based organization, including a benefits plan, due to age.

However, the human rights laws also recognize that a person’s age is a legitimate and nondiscriminatory factor on which to base employment decisions, policies and practices. Among the exceptions in which otherwise discriminatory practices are permitted is when age is a bona fide occupational requirement (BFOR) for a position, such as the role of a 15-year-old in a movie.

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