A recent tweet from NPR’s reporter on aging, Ina Jaffe:
“Age discrimination is real.”
Isn’t it great that NPR has finally discovered that age discrimination is real?
I’m an attorney and former judge who wrote a book about age discrimination in 2014 called, Betrayed: The Legalization of Age Discrimination in the Workplace. In it, I analyze, in great detail, the failings of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967. I show indisputably that older workers are second class citizens under federal law and thus vulnerable to age discrimination in employment. I also document the complete failure of all three branches of government to counteract the predictable and overwhelming wave of age discrimination against older workers during and since the Great Recession.
I sent a courtesy copy of the book to NPR, which ignored it (as it has the problem of age discrimination in employment generally).
Hallelujah, after all these years, NPR and Ina Jaffe acknowledge age discrimination in employment.
The problem with writing about age discrimination is that many media organizations ignore the topic because they don’t think older workers are important or cool. Hence, a national radio network that claims to be a major news outlet has little interest in or understanding of a problem that condemns millions of older workers – mostly women – to poverty in their old age.
Of course, many media organizations also grossly discriminate on the basis of age – with almost complete impunity due to the failings of the ADEA; Hence Google‘s mea culpa about race and sex discrimination without any recognition of the serious problem of age discrimination at Google and, generally, Silicon Valley. These media organizations ignore age discrimination in employment because they don’t want outsiders to examine their own practices.
It’s hard to know why NPR has finally turned its attention to aging. Possibly its because of a legal opinion issued by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta that job applicants have no protection from calculated and systemic age discrimination in hiring. That decision, which affects Georgia, Florida and Alabama, is so patently outrageous that it has gotten some attention from other media outlets.
Still, there have been many legal decisions in recent years that NPR has ignored which have contributed to the legal inequality of older workers compared to victims of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin and color.
I guess we should just be thankful that NPR has finally acknowledged that AGE DISCRIMINATION IS REAL.