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Monday, April 04, 2005

Ageism is wrong and I can prove it...

Chalk one up for older workers. The Supreme Court last week made it easier to prove age discrimination. Aggrieved employees no longer have to plumb the murky motivations of their employers to prove they intended to discriminate. It's now enough to show that employment policies had a "disparate impact" on workers older than 40.

The court's decision brought the rules for proving age discrimination into line with those for proving discrimination based on other factors such as race. That's as it should be. Except for the substitution of "age" for "race, color, religion, sex or national origin," the language is identical in the relevant provisions of the two statutes involved - the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Civil Rights Act. Identical language should be interpreted identically.

The court didn't leave employers defenseless. Disparate impact doesn't matter under the statute, it said, if an employer proves that its disputed policy "is based on reasonable factors other than age." That's a sound balance that protects the interests of both employers and employees.

READ: No place for ageism

Comments:
I find this age thing a little awkward. I am age 48 and was laid off 6 months ago with 18,000 other people from AT&T. The company set it up so everyone was paid off to keep quiet about the age thing so SBC would buy them out. The reality is....even if its tougher on companies not to discriminate due to age.... There is absolutley no govermnet agency with the resources to help you any way. Sorry for the negativity,but I have been there.
 
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