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Older workers are still confronting “unfounded and outdated” assumptions about age and ability, says Victoria A. Lipnic, acting chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in a report.
The report, issued Tuesday to mark the 50th anniversary of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, states “the ageist stereotypes the ADEA was enacted to prohibit” remain “too common and too accepted,” with six out of 10 older workers stating they have seen or experienced age discrimination in the workforce.
It states: “While most older workers say they have seen or experienced age discrimination, only 3% report having made a formal complaint to someone in the workplace or to a government agency. This suggests vas underreporting of age discrimination.”
Discussing how to address the issue, the report says: “First and foremost, workplace culture determines whether workers are valued without regard to age or whether they are devalued based on age.”
“Second, employers can also help prevent age discrimination in the workplace by recognizing and rejecting stereotypes, assumptions and remarks about age and older workers, just as they reject such stereotypes, assumption and remarks about someone’s sex, race, disability, national origin, or religion,” the report said.
A federal appeals court has upheld dismissal of age and disability discrimination and retaliation claims filed by a former Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. claims adjuster.