Corporate America's War On The Young

Young Employees
Young Employees

The war on the young continues, and we keep losing. Not only do young people make less money than our timeworn, seasoned peers, not only is it harder for us to get hired in this atrocious job market, now, to add insult to injury, we're also getting laid-off with more frequency than workers with greater quotas of senescence.

Here's the latest from the front in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal, "employees in their 20s and 30s are finding themselves more at risk of a layoff, according to labor lawyers, as employers look to avoid age- discrimination lawsuits by adopting a "last one in, first one out" policy and turn to tenure as a means of conducting layoffs".

Okay, let me get this straight. Companies are firing younger workers because the legal system is stacked against us now? That's what this means, don't kid yourself about a level playing field.

If companies are more likely to be successfully sued by older workers when they enact "headcount reduction" plans, even though you can probably find someone younger to take the same job for less pay, something is very, very wrong.

This is so screwed up I'm having trouble getting my brain around it. Because older workers are paid more, then companies that want to save money but fear the wrath of the legal system, will have to lay off more total employees than they otherwise would.

Here's a thought for any corporation that's still in the business of capitalism: if you want to achieve cost savings by cutting back on your workforce, get rid of the people with "seniority." You won't have to fire as many because on average they have higher salaries than younger workers. And, let's be honest, if these are white collar jobs that involve computers, why the heck do you have anyone over 30 working for you in the first place? People who are still trying to figure out how to use the Xerox machine do not belong in front of a keyboard, unless it's the keyboard of a typewriter.

Of course, old judges, along with juries made up of people who skew older, are more likely to side with their fellow-fogies (as are the people who probably design these, "fire the kids" policies), so maybe you'll lose lots of money in court and have reinstate some of the older workers you tried to fire.

Unbelievable. I am playing the age card. This is age discrimination. I don't even really care that it's not fair, what bothers me is that it's so stupid and craven.

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