Short Title:Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):15, 43, 2, 137-148
Study examined the employment discrimination experiences of older workers (55 and over) with disabilities in comparison to younger adult workers with disabilities. The study utilized data from the Integrated Mission System of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate the nature of employment discrimination charges that cite the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Analyses examined age as a differential indicator of demographic characteristics of the charging parties, the characteristics of employers against whom allegations were filed, the discrimination issues alleged to occur, and the legal outcome of allegation investigations. Results indicates that allegations filed by older charging parties were more likely to come from males and Caucasians and to involve more nonparalytic orthopedic, cardiovascular, vision, hearing, endocrinological, respiratory, and other age-related impairments. Allegations filed by older charging parties involved fewer mental health concerns, substance use disorders, blood and immune disorders, developmental disabilities, and chronic illnesses such as multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Allegations filed by older workers were less likely to involve involuntary termination and more likely to involve work assignments, the terms and conditions of employment, layoff, and involuntary retirement. No significant differences in the proportions of allegations were observed related to the size of respondent employers or the outcomes of the EEOC’s investigatory process. Findings suggest that many of the workplace discrimination experiences of people with disabilities are common across age groups, and that partial support is evident for double jeopardy in the treatment of older workers with disabilities. Implications for policy and practice are discussed.