Looking at Age Discrimination Law through a Global Lens
Generations -- Journal of the American Society on Aging, p. 70, Vol. 37, No. 1 (Spring 2013)
6 Pages Posted: 7 Apr 2013
Date Written: April 2, 2013
This paper consists of a cross-national comparison of laws pertaining to age discrimination in employment. This comparison provides insight into various nations’ attitudes and values about aging and the status of their older populations. The paper first asks whether or not particular countries protect employment-related rights by prohibiting or restricting entities from engaging in employment-related discrimination on the basis of chronological age. This is followed by an inquiry into whom age-discrimination-in-employment laws protect in particular countries. Then, the legal status of direct versus indirect age discrimination in the United States and elsewhere is explored. Finally, the paper analyzes the mandatory retirement laws of several specific countries. The author concludes that a country’s age-discrimination-in-employment laws may reflect two differing public philosophies: age and aging as irrelevant, such that older and younger people out to be guaranteed equal treatment, versus older persons as an identifiable group unique in some pertinent manner that justifies special or preferential treatment.
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