The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
FROM THE TRUTH
A DUTY IMPOSED BY LAW
In a January 1999 article in Credit Union National Association Magazine, "The term 'Overqualified' Could Mean Discrimination"-1, Author, Bill Merrick, cited a New York U.S. District Court case of a 54-year-old rejected job applicant that was sent to a jury to decide whether the term meant "too old".  Consequently, employers are advised to "Junk the term 'over qualified'; instead, "...say the person's experience doesn't match the job's requirements"
with the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) depends on what employers
older applicants, rather than what they actually do. Employers may
lawfully dispose of older workers by shrouding the real reasons with vague
language. Thus, the ADEA imposes a duty on employers to conceal
their discriminatory practices --
THE EEOC: THE WORD POLICE
Equal Emplyment Opportunity Commission provides guidance to employers
for selecting proper language and strategies for safely disposing
of older applicants and workers.
Why is Congress supporting an agency, that claims to protect older workers from discrimination, when it assists employers to conceal discrimination? The contradiction reflects the politics of the times.
SEMANTIC ENGINEERING FOR GOOD POLITICS.
Congress consists of politicians who depend on our votes and support from powerful corporate, professional and political interest groups for their careers. It determines the amount of money to be allocated to the EEOC
Because age discrimination is masked with vague and meaningless language, rejected older applicants and jettisoned older workers are bereft of proof supporting their suspicions that they are victims of age discrimination.
If employers clearly told them the truth, many older workers would be confident in complaining that they are deprived of employment opportunities because of their age. They would act out their anger by pressuring elected officials and supporting legislation for remedies. This is what happened in 1978 and 1986 and spurred Congress to abolish manditory retirement for many workers.-2
Moreover, policy makers are undoubtedly aware of the Pandora's box that looms about the issue of why older workers seek jobs for which they are substantially over -qualified They can envisage the onerous task of justifying to their older constituents that they are driven to jobs for which they are substantially over-qualified, because they are denied more attractive jobs because of their age.
Substitution of vague, meaningless language for the term,"over-qualified", by camauflaging true reasons for rejecting older workers, shields elected officials from these thorny issues. The EEOC is dutybound to serve our political system by monitoring employers words to ensure they are protecting us from the truth
The rationale for rejecting over-qualified workers of any age is that they will be dissatisfied in jobs in which they are substantially overqualified. Then why is "over qualified" a potential smoking gun for age discrimination?
When a rejected applicant files an ADEA charge, employers must justify the rejection by asserting lack of skills and abilities to perform the job. A statement that an applicant has too much of the required abilities, skills or experience would be logically absurd.
Language manipulation allows
employers to minimize risks of legal trouble when disposing of older
A LOOK AT PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS
The obvious practical solution is to remove age barriers to jobs that fit the various levels of knowledge, skills and abilities among workers over age 55.
This can be accomplished by implementing the economic remedies that have successfully facilitated acceptance of other stigmatized workers, including affirmative action programs for employers that receive government funds and tax breaks for employing workers over age 55.
POLITICAL TACTICS CONCEALING URGENCY OF NEED FOR SOLUTIONS.
Medical doctors must know the causes of disorders before they can define them and detrmine the urgency of need for treatment. Likewise, we must know the causes of social and economic disorders, before we can define them and determine the urgency of the call for policy action.
Current schemes for concealing the reasons for rejecting older workers merely obscures the compelling need for practical solutions for the angry, deprived, unemployed workers over 55, their families and taxpayers who may be obligated to support them. Why are elected officials shielding themselves from this disgrace? Evidently, higher priorities preoccupy them -- their political careers.
Read the article in Fortune Small Business Online.
Ronald G, Smith, Robert S. Modern Labor Economics,
Harper Collins inc. 1990