The following comments are made in response to the EEOC’s invitation for public comment regarding the EEOC’s discussion of the 50th Anniversary of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) at its June 14, 2017 meeting.
I am a licensed attorney and the author of Betrayed: The Legalization of Age Discrimination in the Workplace (2014) and Overcoming Age Discrimination in the Workplace (2016). I am the editor of a syndicated employment law blog, When the Abuser Goes to Work and I edit a blog called Age Discrimination in Employment. I have been quoted in many national publications about the problem of age discrimination in employment in the United States.
I am surprised that it was not mentioned at your meeting that a major reason for the on-going epidemic of age discrimination in employment in America is the legal inequality of older workers.
I urge the EEOC to advocate for repeal of the ADEA. Age should be added as a protected class to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, color and national origin. This would insure uniform treatment under the law of all forms of harmful employment discrimination, including age discrimination. It is not a radical move.
Age discrimination in employment currently is treated by the EEOC and federal courts as a pesky, lesser and secondary offense. This, despite an overwhelming research showing that age discrimination, like other forms of discrimination, is based upon false stereotypes, irrational fears and deep-seated animus. Moreover, age discrimination, like other forms of illegal discrimination, has a devastating impact on both individuals and the American economy.