Are You a Digital Native or Digital Immigrant, and What Does That Mean?

aWill the IMDB law face legal challenges?Are employers using code words, such as “Digital Native,” in job postings to discourage older job applicants from applying to work at their company?

Am I a Digital Native or Digital Immigrant?

The Los Angeles Times featured a report in late June detailing how employers are using code words in job advertisements to prevent older workers from responding to the ad. An example used in the article was the term “Digital Native.” According to the story, a “Digital Native” is a younger person who grew up during the Internet age. Many employers prefer to hire digital natives because they believe that since they grew up with technology, they will be able to adapt easily to technological systems in the workplace.

This is in contrast to “Digital Immigrants.” A digital immigrant is an older person who grew up prior to the Internet. Some employers do not like to hire digital immigrants, because they feel that they will not easily adapt to new technology, will be costly to train and will be reluctant to learn how to use technology necessary to perform their jobs. As a result, there are employers who have begun to include requirements in their job listings that applicants are digital natives.

What Should I Do If I’m the Victim of Age Discrimination?

Age discrimination has been around for decades and despite law changes, there will continue to be employers who try to get away with harassing, firing and not hiring people because of their age. Therefore, it is crucial that those who suspect that they are the victims of age discrimination discuss their situation with an employment attorney. Holding employers accountable for discrimination in the workplace is one the best ways to fight back against the practice and help prevent others from suffering similarly in the future.



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