HCBE Faculty Articles

Age Discrimination in the American Workplace: Legal Analysis and Recommendations for Employers and Employees


Frank J. Cavico0000-0002-6258-2136


Bahaudin Mujtaba0000-0003-1615-3100

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International Review of Social Sciences and Humanities



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Aging is a reality of life since the global workforce is getting older. The article first discusses the challenges confronting older workers in today’s work environment, particularly the presence of negative age stereotypes and ageist prejudice and bias towards older workers, frequently resulting in age discrimination in employment. The authors relate the results of a cross-cultural age and cultural values survey regarding perceptions of older workers and the prevalence of age discrimination. The article then provides an overview of the key civil rights statute in the U.S. prohibiting age discrimination - the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) - as well as a discussion of the nature and role of the federal regulatory agency in the U.S. - the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission - in implementing and enforcing age discrimination law. A succinct comparison of U.S. age discrimination law to the law of the European Community is also supplied. Principal purposes of this article are to provide to employers, business leaders, and managers practical strategies and recommendations to comply with age discrimination laws, to maintain fair employment practices, and to show how to handle an actual age-based discrimination lawsuit. Recommendations are supplied to managers on how to deal with the ADEA and especially how to avoid legal liability pursuant to this important anti-discrimination statute. Suggestions are also provided on how to deal with and to defend age discrimination lawsuit cases. Furthermore, suggestions are offered to the business community on how to view older workers as an opportunity and to utilize them in a beneficial fashion for the firm or organization. Another major purpose of this article is to provide older workers – whether current employees or job applicants – suggestions on how to keep and secure employment in a technologically advanced but recessionary economy.





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