Older and Wiser

by Izella
In most countries, a woman at the age of 48 can forget about finding a good office job. Itís definitely that way in Hong Kong because of extreme age discrimination there still exists. Without a high level education, a person who reaches forty years might only be hired in a lower-class job. However, I have been living in a lucky place. The U.S. Congress made a law called The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) in 1967. It really protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older. Also ADEA protection applies to both employees and job applicants. For example, I applied for several kinds of jobs where I was never asked my age on my resume.

I have been working in an office for some years. The company has provided lots of opportunities for each individual employee. This is why I have been able to learn more office skills which aren't taught in school. In addition, the 1990 amendment to the ADEA has strict guidelines for waivers of benefits to older workers. The ADEA can prohibit employers from reducing positions of older workers in this struggling economy. I think this is important for employees.

I remember when I arrived in the U.S. in 1996. It was so lucky that I found a job. I worked at a small music store and my boss never criticized my age. Back in Hong Kong, I had the opposite experience. I applied for a similar position at a music store, which required that applicants had to be under 25. At that time, I felt this requirement was really ridiculous and quite sad. How could I apply when I was far from this age? I appreciated this law in the U.S. when I arrived here. The fact, ADEA prohibits discrimination against a person's age with respect to any term or condition.

Therefore, I am working at a good office and my life is still blooming. I donít have to feel that I am becoming more useless as I grow older, but more valuable!