Round 2: intrepid vs ecoparity - "Age Discrimination"

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posted on Dec, 14 2009 @ 05:13 PM
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The topic for this debate is "Age discrimination is a perfectly acceptable hiring practice for employers.”

"intrepid" will be arguing the "Pro" position and begin the debate.
"ecoparity" will be arguing the "Con" position.


Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.

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[edit on 12-14-2009 by chissler]




posted on Dec, 15 2009 @ 04:22 PM
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Welcome to the 2nd Round folks. I would like to thank chissler for setting this debate up. Also to my esteemed opponent. Serious applause for whoever came up with this topic, it's a great one and should be quite the debate. Lastly but most importantly, thanks to the readers.

"Age discrimination is a perfectly acceptable hiring practice for employers.”

To begin let us look at what "discrimination" means:

3 a : the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually.

www.merriam-webster.com...

What does that mean? In the context of this debate it means that employers look at a certain group and decide that they shouldn't be their employees. In this case we are dealing with Age discrimination. I will show in the following posts that it is not only "acceptable" in the hiring process but in some cases it is a prudent , moral and legal way of determining whether an individual should be considered for employment in their business.

Discrimination has gotten a bad rap but I will show that by using discrimination in the hiring practice that it cuts down on injury, harm or any unforeseen circumstances against the intended employee. We will look at different industries where age discrimination is necessary. We will look at legal ramifications if age discrimination is NOT applied.

Age discrimination is with us, has been for a long time. Some may not have thought in the terms that we will look at as being age discrimination but it is. More on that in following posts.

Over to ecoparity.



posted on Dec, 16 2009 @ 04:29 PM
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I need to request my 24 hour extension - we have a sick baby to attend to.



posted on Dec, 17 2009 @ 03:34 PM
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Thanks to Chissler and the other involved parties in setting this up, this subject is an excellent one for discussion given the socio-economic realities facing the workforce and workplaces of today and the near future.

My opponent intends to paint a picture where the categoric exclusion of a certain group of potential employees, (based on age in this example) is not only acceptable, but preferable. I will attempt to show why such exclusions are a violation of the right of equality but will also do a great deal of damage to employers who engage in such discrimination.

Quite a few of our common beliefs and assumptions about the modern workforce and workplace need to be adjusted to fit the changes of modern society and the discussion of these things is the first step in making those required adjustments.

I'd like to ask my opponent the following questions:
1. Besides discrimination based on age, what other types of employment discrimination would you describe as being "beneficial" to the employer, employee or both?

Thank You.



posted on Dec, 19 2009 @ 01:26 PM
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I waited as long as possible in order to give my opponent more time to post but I'm coming up against my own deadline and will go ahead with it just to be safe.

While there are certainly jobs which might not be appropriate or even safe for older workers we cannot apply a categoric exclusion given the possibility of exceptions among the potential workers. Some older people are in excellent physical condition, for example.

We also face a couple of realities in the coming years which will have an impact on the pool of potential employees:
1. The US and several other nations will be facing a change in the average age of the work force due to phenomenon such as the "baby boomers" combined with a lowering of the average family size and procreation among the younger generations. This has already begun to affect Japan and various forward looking companies are already gearing the workplace and HR departments to better serve older employees. BMW in Germany recently staffed a new factory with older workers as part of such a program.

Some HR experts have offered scenarios where competition for young workers and attrition of the older ones will increase to the point of crisis due to the advance in average age among the populace. Other experts counter that increased immigration combined with more older workers choosing to stay in the workplace will offset these potential problems in a supply and demand driven adjustment.

2. The shift in balance towards an older workforce also raises issues related to "knowledge transfer". The growing retirements of experienced, skilled workers is creating a talent drain in some industries. One example is in the fine machinery industry where retired machinists are being brought out of retirement with healthy incentives in order to help train younger workers and pass on the wisdom they acquired over decades of employment.

The same set of forward looking companies are actively building programs to enable this "transfer of knowledge". Companies which concentrate on immediate cost savings by shedding older, higher paid workers during the current economic downturn will no doubt face a very hard learned lesson in the future when they realize they have thrown away this "employee equity" in a rush to lay off older workers or push them into early retirement.

Lastly, the application of categoric discrimination is a violation of the individual right of equality. Each person has the right to be evaluated for employment based on his or her individual skills and suitability rather than be eliminated for it based on categoric assignment.

The process of evaluating and hiring employees is already a very "closed door" one. HR departments, managers and so on are able to make decisions based on any criteria they like so long as they do not make the use of certain types of criteria a matter of public policy. The only real "control" government has been able to apply on this process is via the use of affirmative action type programs.

Basically, there is no need for the establishment of any new laws or changes to existing anti discrimination statutes.



posted on Dec, 20 2009 @ 02:23 PM
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Apologies to my opponent and to the readers. Life is very busy.

"Age discrimination is a perfectly acceptable hiring practice for employers.”

First off I'll answer eco's Socratic question:


1. Besides discrimination based on age, what other types of employment discrimination would you describe as being "beneficial" to the employer, employee or both?


Just off the top of my head I can say that discrimination by sex would be one. Working in a correctional institution that houses both men and women, you MUST by law discriminate against males working in sensitive areas of the female institution and vice versa.

 


What is the issue with age?

It's a fact of life that as we age many things happen. Your eye sight isn't what is was. Endurance and strength are reduced. I am 47 and freely admit that I can't do what I did 20 years ago. No superman here. Why is this an issue during the hiring process? Look at the employers responsibilities:


The Occupational Health and Safety legislation requires you, as an employer, to do everything you reasonably can to protect the health and safety of your workers.


employment.alberta.ca...

Why would an employer hire someone that he believes would be put into a situation that s/he is unable to perform safely?

Socratic question #1- If you were an HR person, would you hire a 70 year old to be a rookie on any given police force?



While there are certainly jobs which might not be appropriate or even safe for older workers we cannot apply a categoric exclusion given the possibility of exceptions among the potential workers.


I agree. There ARE jobs that older people can do. Like a "greeter" at Walmart. In this case I would propose discriminating against younger folks as this is one example of what is available to the aged.


2. The shift in balance towards an older workforce also raises issues related to "knowledge transfer". The growing retirements of experienced, skilled workers is creating a talent drain in some industries. One example is in the fine machinery industry where retired machinists are being brought out of retirement with healthy incentives in order to help train younger workers and pass on the wisdom they acquired over decades of employment.


This is not the issue at hand. We are talking about the "hiring process".


Lastly, the application of categoric discrimination is a violation of the individual right of equality. Each person has the right to be evaluated for employment based on his or her individual skills and suitability rather than be eliminated for it based on categoric assignment.


That's the problem, we older people CAN'T compete on equal levels. We don't have the physical make up we once had and if put in dangerous situations because of this put both the employee and the employer in an "at risk" position.


Your rights as an employee to work in a safe and healthy environment are given to you by law, and generally can't be changed or removed by your employer. The most important rights are:

* as far as possible, to have any risks to your health and safety properly controlled.


www.direct.gov.uk...

What easier way to avoid risk than by not considering people that can NOT do the job in a safe manner? It is a MORAL action to not put these people at risk.

In my next post we will look at something very different to this scenario. It will also be looked at using morals, logic and legality.

Back to you eco.



posted on Dec, 21 2009 @ 09:14 AM
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Socratic question #1- If you were an HR person, would you hire a 70 year old to be a rookie on any given police force?

Nationwide in the US mandatory retirement age for police officers is between 60 and 65 (with the latter being a recent increase in response to the social changes I previously mentioned combined with a need for the experienced officers). Your example of a 70 year old is extreme and paints an incorrect point of view on the issue as do your other examples which also lean on people who are far past retirement age rather than the people who are most involved in the legal actions surrounding age discrimination cases, (40 to 55 years of age on the average).

Jobs like police and fireman where physical danger could exist for older employees are allowed to set physical requirements for those positions. Potential new hires have to pass a very extensive and difficult test of physical fitness and existing positions require scheduled standards testing in order to maintain that physical condition. Police officers are not just patrol positions, also. The majority of officers nearing retirement age work desk jobs, administration, management and so on.

The establishment of physical requirements for a job position is perfectly legal and acceptable as long as it can pass any legal challenges. If the local bank were to suddenly implement a set of strict physical requirements in order to eliminate the older and higher paid employees they would probably lose a lawsuit based on the anti age discrimination law whereas an airline could do the same thing and be able to argue that airplane crew members need to meet certain standards in order to evacuate passengers in an emergency.

The establishment of the anti discrimination act in the US in 1967 gives workers the ability to challenge situations where employers violate their right of equality in the workplace, the judicial review of the facts of each case is where each situation can be judged on its merits.

In the US, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. This isn't just about retirement age "Wal-mart greeters", this is an issue affecting men and women at the peak earning stage of their careers. The act was passed because unethical companies were establishing a pattern of discrimination against older workers, not because of physical ability or "safety" but because they wanted to employ only younger workers who earned less and often found ways to eliminate the older workers who were approaching the full pension benefits age. Unfortunately the workplace proved incapable of policing itself and acting in an ethical manner which brought about the passing of the ADEA.


Socratic question 1. How would the elimination of the ADEA benefit society, employers and workers?

Socratic question 2. If the ADEA and similar statutes were repealed, how would workers be protected from being laid off as they reach peak salary and pension benefits? (Usually occurring at 40 to 50 yrs of age).



posted on Dec, 22 2009 @ 02:17 PM
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I'm going to have to invoke my 24 hr extension.



posted on Dec, 23 2009 @ 04:23 PM
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3rdish rebuttal.


Originally posted by ecoparity
Socratic question #1- If you were an HR person, would you hire a 70 year old to be a rookie on any given police force?

Nationwide in the US mandatory retirement age for police officers is between 60 and 65 (with the latter being a recent increase in response to the social changes I previously mentioned combined with a need for the experienced officers). Your example of a 70 year old is extreme and paints an incorrect point of view on the issue as do your other examples which also lean on people who are far past retirement age rather than the people who are most involved in the legal actions surrounding age discrimination cases, (40 to 55 years of age on the average).

Jobs like police and fireman where physical danger could exist for older employees are allowed to set physical requirements for those positions. Potential new hires have to pass a very extensive and difficult test of physical fitness and existing positions require scheduled standards testing in order to maintain that physical condition.


EXACTLY. That applies to more than just cops. Is a company going to hire a 60 yo bricklayer? Why do we have these standards? It's to protect the employee, the coworkers, the public and the employer from lawsuit. Ability DOES decrease with age. FACT.


If the local bank were to suddenly implement a set of strict physical requirements in order to eliminate the older and higher paid employees they would probably lose a lawsuit based on the anti age discrimination law whereas an airline could do the same thing and be able to argue that airplane crew members need to meet certain standards in order to evacuate passengers in an emergency.

The establishment of the anti discrimination act in the US in 1967 gives workers the ability to challenge situations where employers violate their right of equality in the workplace, the judicial review of the facts of each case is where each situation can be judged on its merits.

In the US, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. This isn't just about retirement age "Wal-mart greeters", this is an issue affecting men and women at the peak earning stage of their careers. The act was passed because unethical companies were establishing a pattern of discrimination against older workers, not because of physical ability or "safety" but because they wanted to employ only younger workers who earned less and often found ways to eliminate the older workers who were approaching the full pension benefits age. Unfortunately the workplace proved incapable of policing itself and acting in an ethical manner which brought about the passing of the ADEA.


IRRELEVANT. We are not discussing existing employees. The topic is:

"Age discrimination is a perfectly acceptable hiring practice for employers.”

We are discussing age discrimination as it relates to hiring new employees.


Socratic question 1. How would the elimination of the ADEA benefit society, employers and workers?


It wouldn't benefit anyone. However, it's not the topic of discussion.


Socratic question 2. If the ADEA and similar statutes were repealed, how would workers be protected from being laid off as they reach peak salary and pension benefits? (Usually occurring at 40 to 50 yrs of age).


I would mean no protection to workers my age. Again however, it's irrelevant, not the topic of discussion.

 


OK, we've looked at the age discrimination with older folks, how about younger ones.

In the adult film industry, note the term "adult", models and actors have to be 18 years of age. Those under 18 are discriminated against because they are too young. This is legally and morally binding. There can hardly be a market for this right? Um no, it's a growing industry:


Over the past four years, the number of reports of child pornography sites to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has grown by almost 400 percent. Law-enforcement officials are particularly disturbed by the increased number of commercial sites that offer photos of exploited children in return for a credit-card number. Those fighting child porn say it has become a global multibillion-dollar industry.


www.csmonitor.com...

Surely this is something that the young folk aren't interested in though. Again, uh huh:


Traci Elizabeth Lords and Tracy Lords, is an American film actress, producer, film director, writer and singer. She first achieved notoriety for her underage appearances in pornographic films and Penthouse magazine (she was 15 years old in her first film),[2] later becoming a television and B-movie actress.


en.wikipedia.org...

So here are my Socratic questions:

#1- Do you agree with the discrimination of those under 18 to pose/act in adult material?

#2- How do you feel about the producers that do NOT discriminate against those under 18?

#3- Would you be comfortable working at a company that doesn't discriminate against those under 18? Basically, kiddie porn.



posted on Dec, 24 2009 @ 06:23 PM
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I won't be available for the next couple of days due to the holiday. I've notified Chissler and he said we're find as long as we finish by New Years. I'll make my next post on the 26th.
Thanks



posted on Jan, 5 2010 @ 04:21 PM
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Closing

I would have liked to wait long enough for my opponent to answer my Socratic questions but these debates are closing tomorrow. If he had answered them it most likely would have shown that s/he is indeed in favor of Age Discrimination(AD):


So here are my Socratic questions:

#1- Do you agree with the discrimination of those under 18 to pose/act in adult material?

#2- How do you feel about the producers that do NOT discriminate against those under 18?

#3- Would you be comfortable working at a company that doesn't discriminate against those under 18? Basically, kiddie porn.


 


In closing I would like to point out that I have shown, with links, that we practice AD on a daily basis. That it is moral and legal to do this when considering someone for employment.

I have shown that the onus is on the employer to NOT hire someone that would then be in danger in the work place. Older people can NOT do the jobs they once were able to. Age takes its toll on the body and faculties. Thus those that are of an advanced age shouldn't be considered for jobs they can't do without danger to themselves, thus putting the employer at risk for legal action for putting someone in a situation they can't handle.

I didn't get to show another aspect of AD. Younger people are discriminated against because of experience. GM is not going to hire a chairman that lacks experience. It wouldn't matter what a persons GPA is coming out of college. Those positions in corporate America go to those that are experienced, with proven track records. This is important because thousands, even tens of thousands of workers, families, pensioners depend on the actions of the person at the top. Younger people just don't have the experience to handle this HUGE task.

I DID show that discrimination against children as it goes to the adult entertainment industry is not only morally and ethically responsible but it is a LEGAL imperative.

This debate is about the "hiring process":

"Age discrimination is a perfectly acceptable hiring practice for employers.”

Anything else is NOT what the topic is about. Secondly, I've backed up my side of this debate with links to what I am putting forth. This is NOT just opinion.

This has been an interesting debate. The holidays sure put a cramp in the flow of it. I hope that this was entertaining.

Thank you all.



posted on Jan, 7 2010 @ 05:48 PM
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We're off to the judges.



posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 03:04 PM
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Results...



This was a very short debate and kind of disappointing with the available material out there for the subject. I guess the holidays just interfered..

Anyway: One with the judgment.

This debate broke down to proof. Both debaters made many claims but only one provided any proof for their claims.

Example:

ecoparity

“Nationwide in the US mandatory retirement age for police officers is between 60 and 65”


Where was the proof for this statement?

While both debaters were about equal in their input, intrepid far and away proved his points with source material.

Debate to intrepid





Intrepid comes right out of the gate with a focus on safety and as such provides a sound reasoning for age discrimination. Ecoparity's opening post didn't really leave any clue as to his direction so I am left wondering.

Intrepid misses his first rebuttal and Ecoparity jumps into his argument with some very interesting points, mainly that the generation gap and the longevity of the baby boomers has inherently made age a reasonable point of consideration in the workplace. He cites Japan correctly though I would have liked if there was some sourcing. His point on knowledge transfer is an interesting one but comes out as an underestimation of the younger generation (after all, the older generation had to learn it from somewhere and many were in a position to pick it up 'on the fly') and as such is a bit reaching in my opinion. He finally cites the infringement of personal rights as a reason to not use age discrimination, which was an expected tactic and one that does carry some weight.

Intrepid answers the infringement point with unexpected ease, citing safety as a reason. However, Ecoparity returns in his next post and broadens the parameters of the debate citing that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act was meant to protect individuals "40 years of age or older". Intrepids reply to this in his next post, calling it irrelevant, is offbase as the releasing of older employers in many cases could be the precurser to the hiring of younger employees, which does indicate a hiring practice.

That point is moot, however as there are no further posts from eco parity and while I think that up until his departure it was an interesting battle, Intrepid gets the obvious nod here into the second round.


intrepid wins and moves to the next round.

 
 


This thread is now open to comments from other fighters.



posted on Jan, 17 2010 @ 03:20 PM
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Well I'm glad this one is over. Pretty ugly. I'll do better next time. Sorry. The holidays bagged both of us.





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