Activist organizations have been hard at work studying the pervasiveness of age discrimination in corporate America and have noted the difficult legal standards to prove it, which leave many workers without options in the workplace after a certain age. While #MeToo has become a large focus in corporate America, the law surrounding age discrimination and the hurdles to litigation are largely ignored. The issue is of particular importance as employees are living longer and choose or need to work later in life, rather than having the means to retire with a sizeable pension. The realities of age discrimination are a real concern for all races and genders in the workforce as they plan their careers and are sometimes illegally forced to leave a company due to age discrimination.
Ageism is a worldwide problem that can affect the employment status of older workers. The issue has garnered the attention of the World Health Organization (WHO), an organization that has noted in relation to their upcoming study on ageism that age discrimination is “an incredibly prevalent and insidious problem.” Paula Spain, Ageism: A ‘Prevalent and Insidious’ Health Threat, New York Times (April 26, 2019). Further, “unlike other forms of discrimination … [it] is socially accepted and usually unchallenged, because of its largely implicit and subconscious nature.” Alana Officer and Vânia de la Fuente-Núñez, A global campaign to combat ageism, World Health Organization (March 9, 2018). A full report on WHO’s findings is anticipated in 2020.
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