August 1, 2010
Jacqueline A. Berrien
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Dear Ms. Berrien:
Not withstanding the Gross v. FBL Financial Services decision, it is STILL the consensus of most older American workers that age discrimination is rampant in today’s economy.
In my youth, I worked on the AT&T Equal Opportunity Reports. The employee, applicant, and contractor workforce demographics were parsed may different ways to demonstrate that discrimination was not be tolerated either by management action, systematic flaws, or even random chance.
Companies are a creation of the government and as such are subordinate to them. My question is why doesn’t the EEOC require all corporations over a certain size to report their demographics. If a corporation has a deficiency in a race, sex, or age pool, then there should be a de facto finding of discrimination. Now clearly there has to be some latitude for say NBA basketball teams who are deficient in short Jewish women, but I suspect that you will find that Wall Street firms are deficient in fat old white guys. As well as, a host of other corporations. To give time to adapt, you could start with a requirement on the largest ones and lower the size bar gradually to an appropriate level.
Unlike the AT&T EO Reports, this should be an electronic data exchange in XBRL. So large corporation should be able, with a minimum of overhead, supply this data directly from their payroll and personnel systems. SAP probably has a module to do it already for its European Customers.
As the Federal Government seeks to match Social Security to increasing lifespans, we as a nation have to address issue that older workers represent a too valuable asset to be “frozen out” of the employment market by de facto age discrimination. This “freeze out” is forcing 50 to 65 year olds to prematurely use their retirement savings, lose those high earning years when they are saving for their retirement. This is a double whammy. Just like the ERISA rules were necessary to stop the Aircraft industry from dumping engineers after their first five years in favor of younger cheaper engineers, so to the Commission must change the economics of discrimination. By requiring companies to report is the first step in bringing a dirty little “not so secret” secret into the daylight.
Make companies report their demographics by race, sex, and age. If they can explain it, all well and good. If not, then that’s the time for some serious conversations.
As an IT Architecture and Business Process Reengineering consultant, I know this can be done relatively quickly and cheaply. I can help or advise the Commission or its staff, at my own expense, by phone or email, anytime.
Thanks for your consideration of my input,
Ferdinand J. Reinke
3 Tyne Court
Kendall Park, NJ 08824
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