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Age discrimination focus continued: the case for older workers

We referenced age discrimination in the workplace in our immediately preceding blog entry, noting therein that, "Neither logically nor ethically does it seem to be the case that an argument can ever be made" promoting employment-related decisions that discriminate against older workers (please see our May 13 post entry ).

Although we seldom visit the same topic in successive posts on our blog, given the rich vein of stories and news that regularly emerges spanning a wide range of employment law topics, we make an exception today.

The reason is the timely emergence directly on the heels of our post last week of a Boston-based media source focus on the discrimination facing older workers in virtually all industries across the country.

An online media story from boston.com spotlights workplace age discrimination by telling the tale of one highly qualified older worker who experienced that unfair reality as he went about the job-seeking process. He eventually secured a viable position, but only after experiencing the discrimination that millions of other American workers fear.

He called the job search experience "eye-opening," adding that age discrimination is "the last of the big 'isms," following sexism and racism in the workplace.

"The first two have been legislated against effectively," he says, "but the last one has not."

In commenting on that, a principal with Operation A.B.L.E., a Boston nonprofit group focusing on helping older workers secure training and find jobs, says that the benefits of hiring more mature workers are clearly perceived and appreciated by employers.

They centrally include the comparative dependability of older workers, along with their seasoned judgment, ability to work alongside many other personality types and ability to assume key mentoring roles that enhance productivity and learning for younger workers.

Those positives are instantly lost for any employer that engages in age discrimination in hiring, promotion and retention practices.

Additionally, those behaviors can subject that employer to legal liability marked by significant penalties that exist under both state and federal laws.

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