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Eliminate age-discrimination laws? 3 radical ideas to create jobs

August 25, 2011 by James Russo
Posted in: Employment law, In this week's e-newsletter, Latest News and Views

Three experts tell how — and why — they’d change the workplace to create more jobs. Yes, getting rid of age-discrimination laws is one of the ideas.

The ideas come as a result of inquires by Reason.com, a generally right-wing website that champions less government and more free enterprise. Here, in part, are the responses:

  • Do away with age-discrimination laws, by Walter Olson of Overlawyered.com. Olson says:  “[The law's] beneficiaries are among those needing least assistance … older male holders of desirable jobs, such as managers, pilots, and college professors, who by threatening to raise the issue can extract ampler severance packets than might otherwise be offered them. Frequently, the end result of anti-discrimination laws is that the “protected” person has more difficulty finding a job. Employers don’t want to have to worry about lawsuits, and failure to hire suits are rare and difficult to prove, while unlawful termination suits are more frequent and more expensive. Companies can easily find a legal reason not to hire someone, and so they do.”
  • Institute at-will firing and hiring without legal constraints (and get rid of minimum wage), by Peter Schiff, CEO of Euro Pacific Capital. He says:  “Just as employees are allowed to leave jobs for whatever reason, employers should be allowed to hire and fire based on any criteria without fear of litigation. In other words, liability cost for hiring employees should be minimized. Employees become easier to hire once employers know that their downside risks are minimized. In addition, all labor laws protecting employees from employers, including minimum wage laws, should be repealed.
  • Abolish the Fair Labor Standards Act, by employment lawyer Jon Hyman. He says: “In the 70+ years that have passed, [FLSA] has evolved, via a complex web of regulations and interpretations, into an anachronistic maze of rules that even the best-intentioned employer cannot hope to comply with. I would bet any employer in this country a free wage and hour audit that I can find an FLSA violation in your pay practices. A regulatory scheme that is impossible to meet does not make sense to keep alive. Instead, what employers and employees need is a more streamlined system to ensure that workers are paid a fair wage.”

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