50th Anniversary Of The ADEA

Posted July 6, 2018 by Mary McGinley

This June marks the 50th anniversary of the federal government’s passage of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (the ADEA).

Jon Hyman, senior partner of Cleveland based Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis and contributor at Workforce.com wrote a recent article about a report issued by the EEOC marking the anniversary of this landmark legislation regarding equal employment in the eyes of the law.

The report concludes that as our population ages, age discrimination has been on the increase, mainly due to employers continuing to hold “unfounded and outdated assumptions about age and ability” regarding their older employees.

Hyman estimates that the number of older workers will expand faster than any other age demographic in the next six years and by the year 2050; workers who are age 65 and older in the workforce are estimated to have increased by as much as 75 percent.  By comparison, workers who will be under the age of 54 are estimated to only grow by just 2 percent.

There are a number of factors which Hyman believes to be direct contributors to these figures. The age at which workers are eligible to collect Social Security benefits is being pushed back by the and many who had retirement savings built up ended up losing them in the economic downturn that resulted from the Great Recession. This means that people have to work longer before they can retire.

Even though the workforce is by necessity becoming more diverse in every aspect of our society, the EEOC says that age discrimination is likely to continue to rise. They suggest having a more diverse, multi-generational group of employees and to become more flexible in terms of schedule and workload. Organizations can move beyond the old assumed stereotypes regarding older workers. Older workers can also prove to be especially invaluable when staffing needs become more competitive.