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IT Age Discrimination Or Employee Inertia?
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MikeBak
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MikeBak,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/7/2013 | 12:04:37 AM
re: IT Age Discrimination Or Employee Inertia?
Jonathan's column on how he worked the system to get rid of an older employee that he wanted fired is absolutely inspiring. So inspiring that it has motivated me to create value by framing some salient questions:

1. Can any readers in North Carolina tell us which city government Jonathan works for?

2. Can said readers access publicly available information and tell us what Jonathan is paid?

3. Is there a social-media-adept, younger, more dynamic, more credentialed CIO candidate out there who might Jonathan's job for less money and leaner benefits?

4. Could this theoretical candidate be brought in before Jonathan is fully vested in his pension, thereby enriching his taxpayers/stakeholders?

Let your conscience be Jonathan's guide.....
Melanie Rodier
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Melanie Rodier,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/6/2013 | 10:10:59 PM
re: IT Age Discrimination Or Employee Inertia?
"If your employer is engaged in true age discrimination," they should be held accountable, by someone, or some watchdog. Plus, I agree with Laurianne. If there are older IT pros who have kept their skills up to date, but simply got laid off because they were expensive, it might not be so easy for them to get past the resume' stage when they job hunt. And they might be jobless and with few prospects at a pre-retirement age. Should everyone just let it go?
SAuge
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SAuge,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/6/2013 | 7:34:42 PM
re: IT Age Discrimination Or Employee Inertia?
"If you've truly had a rich career with many accomplishments, and you've kept your skill set sharp, there's more work to be had and done. Leave the idiot employers behind and find it. "

Yea, move to India.
pduffy82001
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pduffy82001,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/6/2013 | 7:28:57 PM
re: IT Age Discrimination Or Employee Inertia?
I think treating people like "equipment" - old circuit switching technology - is a big mistake and leads me into my soapbox as to when Personnel Departments became "Human Resource" departments. It was when staff ceased to be treated as people and became resources to be dumped when no longer needed, like an old Circuit Switch. Some enlightened companies see using the experience of older staff as invaluable. Unfortunately in the US healthcare costs come into it so if the average age of the workforce is higher then healthcare costs are also higher - not an issue in many other countries.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
3/6/2013 | 7:23:53 PM
re: IT Age Discrimination Or Employee Inertia?
Jonathan, what advice would you give older IT pros who have kept their skills up to date, got laid off because they were expensive, are now job hunting -- and feel like they are not getting the right interviews/call backs due to age? It is hard if not impossible to hide age from recruiters.This might be a whole other column but it is an important follow up.

If you can't get through the door for the interview, you can't show off your up to date skills.

Laurianne McLaughlin
InformationWeek
mattmc
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mattmc,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/6/2013 | 7:00:13 PM
re: IT Age Discrimination Or Employee Inertia?
" Thoughtful cost control doesn't equate to age discrimination. " What world do you live in you freaking company man - management boy! Thoughtful cost control. So it's ok to pay an increasing pay to this, how did you put it, "Employee that does not keep up", to the point that the employee becomes a "cost control" issue. And the reason they are let go is because they don't keep up. Geez I cannot stand people like this boxer clown who wrote this article. How dare you write this. I am personally offended. You can tell this clown has never been laid off do to a workforce reduction.

It is not age discrimination - but in a sense it is. The employee was good enough to get hired, stay employed and escalate their pay to a point where MANAGEMENT finds it cheaper to higher a new grad. DUH!! No age discrimination - but don't shovel this crap about not keeping up. IT'S ALL ABOUT MONEY. Nothing else. Are there exceptions to this rule. Sure. I've worked with lazy people - who hasn't. And workforce reductions a great opportunity for companies to get rid of lazy employees. Of course worthless management people, like the author of this article, are seldom affected. They are the last.

This link should get posted at every Unemployment resource web site. This clown would get hunted down. TreeInMyCube must work for him too.
I give
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I give,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/6/2013 | 6:58:52 PM
re: IT Age Discrimination Or Employee Inertia?
The same perspective applies to all fields of endeavor where and employer pays an employee for services rendered. The more value you provide the more compensation you should be able to procure, within a competitive marketplace for your skills. Whether you are 25 or 65 years of age, you are not being paid according to the year you were born, what you did 15 years ago, nor what you believe you are worth. If an employer wants to pay you a premium over your current value based on the potential the employer is hoping you meet 5 years from now, the employer is free to do so. If you feel you have more potential now or in the foreseeable future, it is up to you and your employer to reach an agreement about how that effects your current pay. There are as many kids who think they are worth more than their employer does, as there are old folks who think the same thing.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
3/6/2013 | 6:43:11 PM
re: IT Age Discrimination Or Employee Inertia?
Its been my experience most publicly traded companies prefer to not offer career transitioning skill training for IT workers. Like a capital asset past its usefullness its cheaper to disgard and replace. I've worked at several companies were the technology was being moved from IBM mainframes running IMS database to HP Unix machines running Oracle. All of the mainframe personnel were replaced including DBAs and programmers, first with consultants then with new hires.
DDURBIN1
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DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
3/6/2013 | 6:21:40 PM
re: IT Age Discrimination Or Employee Inertia?
In the late nineties IBM began laying off most all employees over 50. These employees filed a class action suit against IBM that went to the US Supreme Court. IBM won. According to the court, as long as all 50 year olds at IBM were treated the same it was not age discrimination. So much for the Age Discrimination Act of 1967 as it's 10,000 pages of wasted paper.

As mid-sized corporations and larger are providing their own healthcare coverage (self-insuring employees) the older employee bares more risk and cost to the company. Add to the fact younger people work for less, I know of very few people that actually retire out of the IT department. Between 1999 to 2005 over 3 million IT workers over the age of 50 lost their jobs while at the same time the H1-B visa maxes out every year.
TreeInMyCube
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TreeInMyCube,
User Rank: Apprentice
3/6/2013 | 5:51:48 PM
re: IT Age Discrimination Or Employee Inertia?
Thanks for your candor, and your precision in describing the underlying issues. A universal truth is that older IT pros want to remain gainfully employed, and to be recognized for their talents and contributions. You've shined the spotlight on a key aspect of those people (which include me, who has past 50) -- what are we willing to do, to stay employed and relevant? Are there formal training courses or programs, vs. simply taking on a new role and getting OJT? Are the managers given the latitude to spend money to train vetereans in a new skill, or are those managers encouraged to recruit a contractor or outsourcer who already has the skill? Does the performance appraisal system penalize someone for being new in a role, as would need to happen in the course of re-training?
I'm sorry to read your story of a person who was given a clear signal (adapt or die), and who chose not to adapt. After beating the drum of "keep learning new skills" for more than 15 years across our industry, I'm surprised at how people still refuse to hear it.
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