My 18 year old DD has recently started a full time job in an office. It is a large open plan office with about 15 staff in it. DD is the youngest person there, with the next youngest person being in their late 20s. One Manager is in charge of the entire team based in the office.
On DD's first day, she was told in no uncertain terms that she is not allowed to eat or drink at her desk. Her boss's reason for this is that in the past when they've had 'young people' working in the office they have eaten constantly at the desk and it looks untidy and scruffy. However, DD says that every single other person is allowed to eat and drink at their desk. DD is not allowed to based simply upon her age! She doesn't want to eat meals at her desk but it would be nice for her to be able to have a cup of tea at her desk, rather than standing in the kitchen, or for her to be able to have a snack at her desk occasionally. She said that some of the other staff even go and get Macdonalds and KFC meals in their lunchbreaks and bring them back to eat at the desk! She has asked her boss about it and said that it is unfair, but the answer is still a "No" for her.
Secondly, there is a clocking in clock in reception, and DD has been told, again by her boss, that she is to clock in each morning and go straight through to the office and not chat to the receptionist at all, even if it is before office opening times. This is again because the previous 'young lady' that did her job apparently stood around talking in reception for ages. However, everyone else from the office is allowed to stand in reception chatting, sometimes during working hours for over half an hour, and nothing is said to them about it! DD doesn't want to stand around chatting all day, but says she feels constantly under scrutiny and that she has got tougher rules than the other staff, despite them all being on the same level, because of her age.
She says that she is also often asked to make the tea for team meetings, again because she is the youngest staff member. It is not an office junior post, and there was no mention of tea making at her interview. She is just made to do it because of her age.
Is this age discrimination? What is the best way for DD to deal with it? Thanks in advance