One of AARP’s experts, Laurie McCann, testified this week before an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) forum on age discrimination, and, as usual, Laurie deftly told it like it is. And how it should be.
The AARP Foundation senior attorney was speaking before the EEOC’s important forum on the 50th anniversary of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) — a forum titled “The ADEA @50 — More Relevant Than Ever.” Four other workforce experts — one speaking remotely from a vacation in Tokyo — were also panelists.
McCann, who continues to build a following, including among national media outlets, as a leader in the fight against age discrimination, praised the EEOC in her testimony for, among other things, its work on two recent cases (Texas Roadhouse and Darden) and for filing an age discrimination case against a third employer (Ruby Tuesday).
But in her forum comments and her more extensive written testimony, she said that “AARP urges the EEOC to take bolder action to ensure older workers are treated fairly at work.”
Among other things, McCann said the EEOC should “strengthen regulations” aimed at preventing age-related inquiries on job postings. She noted that “practices like maximum experience requirements and requirements for applicants to be affiliated with a university are age-related,” for example.
The AARP Foundation attorney also called for “more robust enforcement of the ADEA,” noting that though 23 percent of all charges filed by the public with the EEOC last year involved age discrimination, ADEA-related cases constituted only 2 percent of the cases that actually wound up on the EEOC docket.
McCann also pointed out that AARP’s CEO, Jo Ann Jenkins, “has made it AARP’s mission to disrupt aging and change what it means to age in America.”
EEOC Commissioner Jenny Yang, in her closing remarks at the forum, noted that hundreds of employers have signed an AARP pledge to not discriminate against older workers, and said she applauds the employers for taking that step.