Envisioning a Future for Age and Disability Discrimination Claims

This Article considers the reasons for reinterpretations of age and disability and examines the fundamental reasons for changes in the implementation of both the ADA and ADEA. Part I presents the basic structure and relevant requirements of the two statutes and comments on the reasons their legislative purposes are not often seen as overlapping. Part II discusses the recent Supreme Court decisions that have undermined the purposes and implementation of both the ADA and ADEA and chilled causes of action based on the ADA and ADEA. Part III projects the current problems with anti-discrimination causes into the future, when older people will comprise a significant part of the population of people with disabilities who choose employment. The commentary considers the nature of the baby boomers, the evolution of the job market, and contrasts the impediments to discrimination litigation in the late 20th century with the differences likely to develop. Finally, the narrative foresees the emergence of employment discrimination law of renewed vitality based on the ADA.