Age Discrimination in Employment Essay

Age Discrimination in Employment Essay

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There has always been some “ism” that social movements have fought against throughout America’s history, and the issue of “ageism” was finally addressed in The Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Ageism can be defined as prejudiced beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors pertaining to older adults. To understand the ADEA fully, a brief history of age discrimination is useful to comprehend the Structural Level of this bill. Discrimination based on age was not a large issue until the beginning of the 20th century, mainly because it was a tacit form of discrimination. For the most part, people worked until they were at an age where they did not feel useful, and for the rest of their lives their families would take care of them. Industrialization brought in a new era which introduced unions, and new guidelines were created as to how long someone should stay in a position.
Over time, age discrimination became an integrated feature of the modern industrial economy; ageism was even associated with the progress of American capitalism. The issue of age based discrimination received some attention in the early part of the 20th Century, but was not recognized as a social problem until around World War II. The wartime economy considerably increased the demand for labor, and the number of men aged 65 and older in the workforce jumped by 75% (U.S. Census, 1975). The increased need for workers helped merge women into the workplace, and proved that older adults were proficient and agreeable to modern employment. Policy makers became concerned about the presence and pervasiveness of age centered discrimination because of the large amount of older workers employed at this time in history which made the problem more obvious. The United States emerged...


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...tion in Employment Act and the Vocational Rehabilitation Act: A Proposed Consolidation." Labor Law Journal 31.1 (1980): 13-26. Print.
Mitchell, Charles. "Retaliation Lawsuits Held Applicable For Federal Employees under The Age Discrimination In Employment Act: A Victory For Older Federal Workers The Supreme Court's Decision In Gomez-Perez V. Potter, Postmaster General." Review of Public Personnel Administration 29.1 (2009): 89-94. Print.
Rothenberg, Jessica, and Gardner, Daniel. "Protecting Older Workers: The Failure Of The Age Discrimination In Employment Act Of 1967." Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare 38.1 2011: 9-30. Print.
Werner, Herbert D., and Martha W. Dewhurst. "The Age Discrimination In Employment Act Amendments Of 1978 And Their Effect On Collective Bargaining." Labor Law Journal 30.8 (1979): 477-482. Business Source Premier. Web. 1 Nov. 2011.

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