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The future for older workersNew perspectives$
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Wendy Loretto, Sarah Vickerstaff, and Philip J. White

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781847424181

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847424181.001.0001

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The American experience of age discrimination legislation

The American experience of age discrimination legislation

Chapter:
(p.27) Three The American experience of age discrimination legislation
Source:
The future for older workers
Author(s):

John Macnicol

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847424181.003.0003

In 2006, the United Kingdom passed legislation against age discrimination in employment. This legislation outlawed direct and indirect discrimination, granted employment protection to older workers, allowing opportunities for older workers to work past the age of sixty-five. In the United States, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) has been safeguarding the rights and interests of older workers since 1967. This act provided protection against age-based discrimination in hiring, firing, promotion, demotion, retraining, working hours, compensation, workplace harassment and other aspects of employment. Since 1968, mandatory retirement has been abolished except for in a few occupations where public safety is an issue. Interestingly the ADEA did not protect elected officials, their staff and other high-level policy makers. It did not affect the minimum age for certain public offices and nor did it provide age-based legal protection for young people. This chapter explores the origins and the subsequent development of the ADEA, and draws some parallels with Britain. In doing so, the chapter does not tacitly accept the policy maker's assumption that the benefits of such legislation is unproblematic, and that the issues are simply technocratic ones relating to minor adjustments. Instead, the chapter analyses the ADEA's origins, aims and achievements from a critical perspective.

Keywords:   age discrimination, employment, employment protection, older workers, ADEA, age-based discrimination

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