Recently, Congressional Democrats introduced legislation to make it easier for older workers to win age discrimination lawsuits. Age discrimination remains a significant workplace issue.
In recent ten years, 15.79 percent of cases brought to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, were described as successful claims. While this number is small given the number of workers covered by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, many, if not most, instances of age discrimination are never sued, and cases hiring discrimination often go undetected.
Most of those who do sue are white, male middle-managers who are likely to have lost a sizeable salary and pension. For the most part, other groups do not sue because the costs of a lawsuit outweigh the potential benefits. Age discrimination remains a significant workplace issue.
There is strong experimental evidence for age discrimination in hiring, at least for entry-level jobs. Recently, I performed a labor market experiment in Boston in which I sent out thousands of resumes for fictitious (虚构的) entry-level female candidates and measured response rate based on date of high school graduation. Among this group, younger applicants, whose date of high school graduation indicated that they were less than 50 years old, were 40 percent more likely to be called back for an interview than were older applicants.
It is difficult to tell whether employment problems are worse for older workers than for other workers when times are bad. The number of discrimination lawsuits increases during times of high unemployment, but this finding by itself does not indicate an increased level of age discrimination. In times of higher unemployment, the opportunity cost to a lawsuit is lower than it is when times are good.
From the employer's perspective, mass layoffs may seem like a good chance to remove a higher proportion of generally more expensive older workers without the worry of being sued. On the other hand, employers may be less likely to remove protected older workers because' they still fear lawsuits. One thing we do know is that once an older worker loses a job, he or she is much less likely to find a new job than a younger worker is.
Unfortunately, the effect of legislation prohibiting age discrimination is not easy to see and may actually be part of the reason it is so difficult for older workers to find employment. If it is more difficult to fire an older worker than a younger worker, a firm will be less likely to want to hire older workers. Indeed, my research finds that in states where workers have longer time to bring a lawsuit claim, older men work fewer weeks per year, are less likely to be hired, and less likely to be fired than men in states where they do not have as much.
Not many people would suggest that we go back to a world prior to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, in which advertisements specify the specific ages of people they are willing to hire. However, legislation prohibiting discrimination is no panacea (万灵药). The recent proposed congressional legislation could have both positive and negative effects on potential older workers.
1. A lot of cases of age discrimination are not found because
A. age discrimination law was just introduced recently.
B. other discriminated groups don't sue except the whites.
C. age discrimination cases are in large quantity and it is difficult to detect all of them.
D. many discriminated people don't sue and costs of a lawsuit outweigh potential benefits.
2. The labor market experiment in Boston shows that
A. younger male applicants are more likely to be hired than their female counterparts.
B. age discrimination is quite common in hiring process.
C. the author collected information by interviewing female applicants.
D. female applicants who are 50 years old will never have a chance to get a job.
3. What may lead to the increase of discrimination lawsuits during times of high unemployment?
A. The increase of age discrimination.
B. The decrease of age discrimination.
C. The decrease of opportunity cost to lawsuits.
D. The increase of opportunity cost to lawsuits, .
4. From the last paragraph, we learn that
A. employers could specify the ages of people they want to hire in the past.
B, all employers recruited workers through advertisement in the past.
C. legislation prohibiting discrimination can't free old workers from age discrimination.
D. the recent proposed congressional legislation is ineffective.
5. The author is __ when he analyzes the age discrimination issue.