Proposals to shore up the ADEA and promote employment for older workers

| Nov 23, 2020 | Employee Discrimination

A noted economics professor and author pays quick homage to the seminal Civil Rights Act of 1964 in a recent article discussing one pointed tangent of employment discrimination.

David Neumark notes in a piece penned under the sponsorship of the nonprofit Brookings Institution and the Kellogg Public-Private Initiative research group that Title VII of the above-cited legislation cited specific workplace classifications entitled to strong protections against on-the-job discrimination and harassment.

Readers likely know many or perhaps even all of those high-profile categories. They centrally include race, sex, national origin and religion.

Notably, Title VII did not open the door for safeguards against workplace discrimination aimed at older workers. Neumark duly notes, though, that age-biased maltreatment was subsequently addressed and protected against a few years following Title VII’s enactment with the passage of the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act. That law now extends a number of key safeguards to workers aged 40 and older.

Here’s a point that Neumark prominently emphasizes concerning an alleged soft spot in the ADEA’s protective armor, though: The law has historically focused on and been best equipped to deal with age-linked bias at the employment termination stage.

That is, notes Neumark, “the ADEA is more effective at reducing age discrimination in terminations than in hiring.”

The reasons for that are arguably multiple and complex, with their detailed discussion being addressed in a separately authored Neumark report. The key point that the economist seeks to immediately make is that far greater attention must now attach to probes of discrimination against older workers seeking employment than has previously been the case.

The ADEA and linked state enactments seek to protect mature workers striving to either secure employment or continue with their livelihoods. Questions or concerns regarding age bias or any other form of workplace discrimination can be directed to an experienced and results-oriented employment law legal team.

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