Protecting the Older Worker

Unlike racial discrimination, age discrimination statutes do not prohibit all forms of discrimination but only those forms that are arbitrary. In this respect age is most analogous to sex as a basis of discrimination: in neither case has a conclusive statutory presumption been made that these factors are irrelevant in an employment situation; in both situations the employer must make his decision to hire or not to hire on the abilities of the individual and not on assumptions, proven or unproven, about the class as a whole. This note considers the extent of arbitrary age discrimination and what measures have been taken and should be taken to combat it.