At Queen's University, all students, faculty and staff have the right to pursue their academic or professional careers without harassment or discrimination, regardless of age.

Like the Canadian workforce population, the Queen’s workforce population is aging. The average Queen's employee is a little older than the average Canadian employee, however. As of February 2012, the median age of the Queen’s workforce population was 47 compared to 43.7 in the Canadian workforce population.

46% of our employees were 50 or over and 13% were 60 or over.

Age discrimination and harassment

Age discrimination is being treated unfairly, burdened, overlooked or rejected in the workplace or in the classroom because of ageist attitudes, whereas age harassment is being subjected to a course of vexatious conduct or comment based on age that is known, or ought to be known, to be unwelcome.

Not hiring a qualified older candidate on the basis that he/she might not be a “good fit” for your “energetic” and “dynamic” team Giving a training opportunity to a younger employee on the basis that she will “get more out of the experience” and “give more back to the unit “ than an older employee who is “on the verge of retirement” or who is “too fixed in her ways” to learn new skills. Deciding to rent a housing unit to a group of graduate students rather than to a group of second year students, on the basis that older students are “more mature” and less likely to “wreck the unit”.

  • Using derogatory terms to refer to older employees/students or to younger employees/students
  • Seemingly positive remarks about how “chipper”, “energetic”, or “feisty” older employees/students are or how “mature”, “responsible” and “grown-up” younger employee/students are
  • “Complimenting” an older employee for “still” riding his bicycle to work.


Sometimes people require accommodation based on age-related issues. This occurs when the employee or student would be able to fulfill a job/academic requirement, but for their age-related issue. For more information about accommodation, please consult our accommodation page.