EEOC Should Require Employers to Report Workers Ages

justiceBy September 30, most U.S. employers with 100 or more  employees  must file a report with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) divulging the race, ethnicity and gender of its workforce.

The EEOC uses the data to support its civil rights enforcement efforts.

But employers are not required to provide similar statistics with respect to the ages of its workers, which is yet another indicator of the second-class status of age discrimination in America.  The problem of age discrimination in employment is not even considered serious enough to monitor.

If employers were required to report the ages of workers, it would be obvious when  a rogue industry- like Silicon Valley’s high tech industry – employs a disproportionately small number of older workers. Shining a light on age in the workforce would send a message to employers that age is an important part of diversity in a workplace.

The current reporting requirement stems from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Employers that are subject to Title VII with 100 or more employees must file annual Employer Information Reports or EEO-1 Reports which list all employees by location, job category and then by ethnicity, race and gender. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 lacked a similar reporting provision when it was adopted three years after Title VII.

It appears that there has been no effort to adopt a reporting provision with respect to age during the entire almost 50-year lifespan of the ADEA. 

In my book, Betrayed: The Legalization of Age Discrimination in the Workplace, I show that the ADEA was weak to begin with and has been eviscerated by the U.S. Supreme Court so that today it offers far less protection against age discrimination than Title VII provides for discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin and color. In the book, I recommend that Congress scrap the ADEA and insert age as a protected class in Title VII, so that older workers who are victims of unfounded and harmful employment discrimination at least have the same protection and rights as other workers.  As it is, older workers literally are denied equal justice under the law, which is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. Lawsuits to rectify this injustice are routinely struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, which accords its lowest standard of review to age discrimination, far lower than that accorded by the Court in cases of race or sex discrimination.

Employers that are subject to the EEO-1 Report, include:

  • Employers  with more than 100 workers (aside from state and local governments, schools, Indian tribes and tax-exempt private membership clubs)
  • employers with  at least 50 employees and a purchase order, contract or subcontract involving at least $50,000 from the federal government and
  • banks and other financial institutions which issue U.S. Savings Bonds or which serve as a depository for any amount of government funds which have at least 50 employees.

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