Over the past 50 years, older workers have become a more significant part of the nation’s job force. And that group has become more diverse as it has grown. But age discrimination has persisted. Older workers have more trouble finding work than their younger counterparts. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces federal discrimination laws. In 2017, it received more than 18,000 age discrimination complaints. The number of age discrimination complaints filed by certain classes nearly doubled in some cases. Among those heavily affected were women, African Americans, Asians, and workers age 65 and older. This compounds the damage caused by age discrimination. Age discrimination is unlawful in employment and many other contexts. However, enforcement is a significant issue (see also.Chapter 5, Employment—Employment Discrimination against Older Workers).
AGE DISCRIMINATION: Policy
Policymakers should strengthen federal and state laws that protect against age discrimination. They should ensure victims have adequate remedies, including monetary damages. Victims should also have a private cause of action in federal and state courts (see also the Private Enforcement of Legal Rights policy in this chapter, as well as Chapter 5, Employment—Employment Discrimination Against Older Workers).