Age Discrimination Masquerades as Good Deed

Twenty-nine U.S. corporations so far  have signed onto an “initiative” to discriminate against older workers through the “100,000 Opportunities Initiative.”

The “employer led coalition,” which has received the blessing of the Obama administration,  blatantly violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA).

The Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions, which describes itself as an “intermediary” for the initiative in the hiring cities, issued a press release Wednesday stating that coalition employers will  “make hundreds of immediate job offers” to disadvantaged “youth” between the ages of 16 to 24 in the Chicago area next week.

The ADEA unambiguously prohibits using age as a consideration in hiring. Starbucks, a corporate leader of the coalition, and U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez   have failed to provide any legal justification for a hiring program that on its face violates the ADEA. Meanwhile, the media and the AARP have ignored this blatant demonstration of government-backed age discrimination by America’s top corporations.

In a press release, the Aspen Forum refers indirectly to the discriminatory nature of the program: “The participating companies are committed to diversity and equal employment opportunity, and the Opportunity Initiative does not prevent opportunities for older workers. Its purpose is to open up new opportunities that currently do not exist for some youth.”

The facts speak for themselves. Jobs will be designated for workers in a specific age group. Workers aged 40 and over are expressly excluded from applying for these jobs. That’s age discrimination in violation of the ADEA. [Read more…]