Here’s Something Laughable – The DOL Celebrates National Employ Older Workers Week

An outdated web site and budget cuts tell the true story about the Obama administration’s commitment to helping older workers.

Yes, this is the same DOL that is supporting a national campaign of age discrimination in hiring.

The Obama administration and U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez are  engaged in an unprecedented assault on he Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.  President Barack Obama in 2010 signed an executive order that permits federal agencies to discriminate against older workers.  Perez recently endorsed an effort by a coalition of America’s largest corporations that blatantly discriminates in hiring against older workers.

In its press release, the DOL notes that National Employ Older Workers Week, is held annually the last full week of September to  recognize the “vital role of older workers in the workforce.”

The DOL applauds the word of its Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), which provides on-the-job skills training to individuals 55 or older with limited financial resources. But does the DOL really value the SCSEP? The program states on its web page (last updated in November 2013) that its  2013 budget  ($424,804,974) represents a five-percent decrease from PY 2012. 

The SCSadieSEP’s web site features a photo of a woman sitting behind an ancient computer. The caption reads: “Sadie has gained valuable computer skills through her participation in SCSEP.”  A demonstration of the “vital role” of older workers?

Supposedly SCSEP has helped a million older workers get jobs “since its inception.”  The DOL press release  fails to note the date of  SCSEP’s inception and the date is not listed on the program overview page on SCSEP’s outdated web site.  The SCSEP states it places participants, who work an average of 20 hours a weeks for the federal minimum wage, at non-profit and public facilities, including day-care centers, senior centers, schools and hospitals.So let’s all celebrate  National Employ Older Workers Week.

Let’s invite the U.S. Congress, which has failed for six years to pass the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act. As a result, it is much more difficult for older workers to prevail in an age discrimination lawsuit than it is for workers who are victims of discrimination on the basis of race, sex (including sexual preference), religion and national origin. The Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act (POWADA) is a proposed law that would remove some of the ruinous damage that the U.S. Supreme Court has inflicted on the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967.

And don’t forget the AARP, which is making record profits selling health insurance and other products to older Americans while doing little or nothing for the past 50-years about unabashed and blatant  age discrimination in hiring and employment in the United States.

The DOL estimates that workers 55 and over will make up 25% of the U.S. civilian labor force by 2020, up from 13% in 2000. The DOL notes the number of workers over the traditional retirement age of 65 is seeing a marked increase, and i this group will make up more than seven percent of the American labor force by 2020.

We can all rest safely knowing that the DOL is on the job!

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