We have written a lot about age discrimination, whether it is employers who use code words such as “long in the tooth” or recent enforcement actions by the EEOC. In our posts, we have also cautioned against employers using outdated stereotypes about older employees, the most common of which is the employer not wanting to invest in an older employee because they are only going to retire soon.
We’re wondering if certain professions have a positive stereotype with regard to willingness to retain and hire older employees. Perhaps our Firm is unique, or perhaps it is the legal profession in general, but we have multiple attorneys who are still actively practicing well into their late sixties and early seventies; ages at which it may be assumed a person will retire. Take for example, one of our Senior Counsel’s, Murray Shusterman, who is lately at the young age of 101 taking social media by storm. Yes, you read that right. We meant 101 years old.
Murray was recently profiled in the Philadelphia Inquirer and his story has gone viral. Murray began his distinguished career as a lawyer in 1936 and still comes to work in our Philadelphia office every day. We wanted to salute Murray as he approaches his 102nd birthday and take the opportunity to solicit feedback from readers about something positive since we spend a lot of time talking about what employers did wrong.
Are there any industries or professions where being an older employee is a positive? Or is it a bad idea to make even positive generalizations? Maybe we should practice what we preach and not resort to any stereotypes and ask this question instead: what is the key to establishing an age-blind culture where age is not a factor, young or old, as long as an employee is performing well?