Limited Legal Recourse for Older Women's Intersectional Discrimination Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act

28 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2018  

Joanne Song McLaughlin

University at Buffalo

Date Written: March 15, 2018

Abstract

Older women compose a large share of labor force in the U.S. There are two federal statutes that can provide protection for older women against employers’ discriminatory behavior: the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII). Theories and empirical evidence suggest that older women are more discriminated against for being old and female, but there is a concerning policy implication that current legislation does not provide adequate protection for older women. The main reason for this concern is that older women’s intersectional discrimination invokes age-plus-sex or sex-plus-age cause of action. However, the courts do not recognize this cause of action under the ADEA and they have mixed views on this issue under Title VII. This article discusses evidence of older women’s intersectional discrimination and the importance of recognizing this intersectionality in proof structure. It also reviews case laws and the effectiveness of the age discrimination laws on older women’s labor market outcomes. The findings indicate that the ADEA does not provide equal employment opportunities for older women. Older women’s legal recourse for their unique intersectional discrimination for being old and female is constrained under the ADEA and Title VII strictly due to legislative peculiarities in statutes intended to solve this exact problem.

Keywords: Older Women, Intersectional Discrimination, ADEA, Title VII, Age Discrimination, Sex Discrimination, Age-Plus-Sex, Sex-Plus-Age

JEL Classification: J14, J16, J18, J21, J70, J71, J78, K31

Suggested Citation

McLaughlin, Joanne Song, Limited Legal Recourse for Older Women's Intersectional Discrimination Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (March 15, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3141269 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3141269

Joanne McLaughlin (Contact Author)

University at Buffalo ( email )

441 Fronczak Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260
United States

Register to support our free research

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
9
Abstract Views
71
PlumX