EEOC Discusses Age Discrimination Issues at New York Seminar, Commission Meeting

Author: Marta Moakley, XpertHR Legal Editor

June 7, 2017

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is currently hosting the New York District Technical Assistance Program Seminar (TAPS), which has emphasized federal age discrimination protections in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). In addition, the EEOC will hold a Commission meeting next week on age discrimination and the challenges it poses for the future.

New York Seminar

In his opening remarks during the New York TAPS program, Kevin J. Berry, District Director of the EEOC New York District office, noted a contrast with job advertisements prevalent when the ADEA was passed 50 years ago and today. While overtly ageist statements were included in job advertisements from the 1960s, Berry noted that today, "age discrimination tends to be less overt." Berry also discussed statistics that show that "older workers are still disproportionately represented in the ranks of the long-term unemployed."

As part of its strategic plan, the EEOC continues to focus on systemic failure-to-hire age discrimination cases.

For some time, the EEOC has been targeting online job advertisements that contain explicit terms that would tend to exclude older applicants, such as the use of "boy," "girl," "young," "energetic," or that would include preferred graduation years. Daniel Seltzer, EEOC Trial Attorney, advised focusing on the actual traits being sought ("effective Tweeter") instead of a generalized statement of familiarity with technology ("digital native").

Session presenters also urged attendees to avoid word-of-mouth recruiting, as it could lead to exclusionary practices or diminished opportunities for minorities.

The EEOC's district offices hold TAPS seminars on an annual basis across the country. In addition, full-day and half-day technical assistance programs are available to employers.

Commission Meeting

The EEOC has announced that it will hold a meeting, entitled "The ADEA @ 50 - More Relevant Than Ever," on Wednesday, June 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at agency headquarters.

Because the meeting is open to public observation, employers will be able to learn from scheduled speakers (including attorneys and researchers) about emergent age discrimination issues.