Report Calls for Action Against Age Discrimination

February 28, 2006 ( - A report from the International Longevity Center-USA (ILC-USA) points to widespread age discrimination in American society.

With 75 million baby boomers reaching retirement age, “The effort to transform the culture and the experience of aging in America is quintessential and urgent,”says Dr. Robert Butler, President and CEO of the ILC-USA, in a press release. In its report, the ILC-USA documents areas of age discrimination including, discrimination in the workplace, elder abuse, lack of emergency preparedness for older persons, and the negative impact of the media and the marketplace, according to the release.

The report points out that age discrimination in the workplace restricts the job opportunities of older workers, with significant consequences for the national economy. While many employers may have legitimate concerns about the costs related to the earnings, health insurance and pensions of older workers, many also have misconceptions about the productive potential and receptiveness to training of older workers, the release said.

Dr. Kenneth Knapp, economist and Senior Research Associate at the ILC-USA, said in the release, “Employers who attract and retain older workers today will be in a much better competitive position as the boomers begin to retire than employers who wait until tomorrow.” Other reports have warned about the shortage of talented workers that could be caused by the impending Boomer retirement (See More Focus Needed on Boomer Retirements Effects).

The ILC-USA hopes that its report, “Ageism in America,” will provide the intellectual basis for future legal and legislative efforts, especially as it relates to enforcing the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), and nursing home regulations. The report includes a proposal to legislators at the local, state and federal level to provide legal protection against age discrimination, incorporating age in Civil Rights Title VII.

The complete report can be downloaded here .