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Cold coffee

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Sometimes, the coolest franchises in the world can be distinctly un-cool. American coffee giant Starbucks is in hot water owing to accusations of discrimination against older employees. An exclusive series of interviews conducted by website revealed that many employees over the age of 40 are the targets of ageism by management. The behaviour ranged from being unfairly criticised at work and given fewer responsibilities to ostracism and unfair dismissal. Despite repeated complaints to human resources, managers indulging in such bias faced no serious consequences because of poor internal investigations. “We come with a lot of experience and you’re throwing that experience out the window to get someone here who’s younger and who you can pay a little less to,” Andrea, one of the interviewees, told the site. “Just because my body doesn’t work as well as it used to doesn’t mean my mind is affected.” Many of the victims of such bias have now taken the matter to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, hoping to expose the prevalence of ageism in the industry. This is not the first time Starbucks has been confronted with such allegations; in 2013, the company was sued by a 63 year-old former employee for wrongful termination based on ageism, which was resolved by a settlement. Old habits clearly die hard.

Photo: iStock
Featured in Harmony — Celebrate Age Magazine
November 2018