1-The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) listed only five protected classes. There is much debate today concerning the possibility of adding the aged as a sixth protected class. What arguments pro and con exist for making advanced or mature age a protected class?
a-The aged could be considered for protected class status due to their vulnerability as well as discriminatory practices against the elderly. Businesses are often reluctant to hire the aged due to the fact they feel they will only work a limited time at the company, shorter work hours, they may not be as quick or strong, or technically advanced. The aged class can be vulnerable to discrimination and feel they have no recourse.

On the other side, aged individuals enjoy communities that are 55+, discounts aimed at seniors only, and are even given lighter sentences or punishments in the judicial system based only on their advanced age. So some may say they are already protected in a sense.

B-There are several arguments on both sides of this debate, on one hand the elderly should have equal employment opportunities and on the other businesses should be able to look out for their best interest. If the elderly were included as a protected class, they would have the ability to use the two legal theories, disparate impact, and disparate impact. This would help to better protect them from being discriminated against along with the laws that already exist to help protect them as a class. Some argue however, that this is not necessary because of the powers already in place to prevent discrimination. The Aged Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) forbids discrimination against persons 40 and older. Also, the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) amends the ADEA and prohibits age discrimination in employee benefits. I think that by including the elderly as a protected class, it would help to ‘sure up’ the prevention of discrimination of the elderly.


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