Diversity refers to the presence of individual human characteristics that make people different from one another (Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn, 2005). Some of these individual human characteristics are demographic differences, such as age, gender, sexual-orientation, race, ethnicity, and religion. Diversity and demographic differences can impact individual behavior by creating discrimination, stereotypes and prejudices in the workplace. In my opinion the differences that impact individual behavior the most are age, gender, sexual-orientation, race, and ethnicity.
People's ages in the workplace can range from young as 16 to as old as one would like to work. This range of age differences can create discrimination, stereotypes and prejudices among individuals. Stereotypes and prejudices come from the misperception that as people age their skills and thought processes deteriorates and they are unable to complete their work as effectively and efficiently as some of the younger workers.
According to the United States' government site for equal opportunity, (http://www.eeoc.gov/types/age.html)
setting age limits for employment has become common practice among employers. People over the age of 40 years are at the highest risk of age discrimination, but people of all ages can be victims of age discrimination. The government has enacted several bills which were created to discourage and even outlaw age discrimination. In 1967, Congress created the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, protecting individuals over 40 years old against age discrimination. This act protects both employees and job applicants. Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, "it is unlawful to discriminate against a person because of his/her age, with respect to any term, condition, or privilege of employment including, but not limited to hiring, firing, promotion, layoff, compensation, benefits, job assignments, and training" (ADEA, 1967).
Two other acts that protect individuals from age discrimination are the Age Discrimination Act of 1975...