Age and disability employment discrimination: occupational rehabilitation implications.

Academic Article


  • INTRODUCTION: As concerns grow that a thinning labor force due to retirement will lead to worker shortages, it becomes critical to support positive employment outcomes of groups who have been underutilized, specifically older workers and workers with disabilities. Better understanding perceived age and disability discrimination and their intersection can help rehabilitation specialists and employers address challenges expected as a result of the evolving workforce. METHODS: Using U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Integrated Mission System data, we investigate the nature of employment discrimination charges that cite the Americans with Disabilities Act or Age Discrimination in Employment Act individually or jointly. We focus on trends in joint filings over time and across categories of age, types of disabilities, and alleged discriminatory behavior. RESULTS: We find that employment discrimination claims that originate from older or disabled workers are concentrated within a subset of issues that include reasonable accommodation, retaliation, and termination. Age-related disabilities are more frequently referenced in joint cases than in the overall pool of ADA filings, while the psychiatric disorders are less often referenced in joint cases. When examining charges made by those protected under both the ADA and ADEA, results from a logit model indicate that in comparison to charges filed under the ADA alone, jointly-filed ADA/ADEA charges are more likely to be filed by older individuals, by those who perceive discrimination in hiring and termination, and to originate from within the smallest firms. CONCLUSION: In light of these findings, rehabilitation and workplace practices to maximize the hiring and retention of older workers and those with disabilities are discussed.
  • Authors

  • Bjelland, Melissa J
  • Bruyère, Susanne M
  • von Schrader, Sarah
  • Houtenville, Andrew
  • Ruiz-Quintanilla, Antonio
  • Webber, Douglas A
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • December 2010
  • Keywords

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Civil Rights
  • Disabled Persons
  • Employment, Supported
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Job Application
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders
  • Middle Aged
  • Organizational Policy
  • Prejudice
  • Workplace
  • Young Adult
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 456
  • End Page

  • 471
  • Volume

  • 20
  • Issue

  • 4