The Instigator
dasamster
Pro (for)
Losing
9 Points
The Contender
Kinesis
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

Age discrminination in the workplace should be illegal.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Kinesis
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/11/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,484 times Debate No: 10423
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (4)

 

dasamster

Pro

Hello. This debate is open for a challenger. The resolve is that age discrimination in the workplace should be illegal. I will now start the affirmative constructive stating why it should be illegal.

I will first define a couple of words stated in this debate. (1) Age is the length of time during which a being or thing has existed. (2) Discrimination is defined as treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit. (3) A workplace is a person's place of employment. This debate is regarding ahe discrimination upon the termination, demotion and hiring of employees for a company.

My first contention is that the elderly may be just as capable as the young. Since age is not necessarily an indication of inferior ability or potential, treating a person less favourably purely on the basis of their age is just as unreasonable and unfair as doing so on the basis of his race or religion. It would also be inconsistent with the principles of equal treatment and non-discrimination, which is the base of individual rights. For an example, If a particular elderly worker truly has, say, less concentration or manual strength than a younger worker, and this objectively and reasonably makes him less qualified for the particular job, then employers can still make their decisions based on his relative lack of suitability for the job, not on his age. Age by itself should not be a determinant.

My second contention is that businesses are liable to be held accountable in a lawsuit. As a result of someone getting "let go" or demoted from their employer, they are going to try and get the money that they deserve. Federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Laws state that there are lawsuits that can be, and have been started as a result of their termination because of age. The source also states that age rights are protected till the age of 40. An example of this happened in my hometown within the police department. Lt. Gary Honulik brought a cause up to the State of Connecticut Superior Court because he was denied a promotion because the department('s attorneys) stated that he was past the age of retirement, and was not worth the position due to the fact that he could leave at any time.

I affirm the resolution that Age discrminination in the workplace (any workplace) should be illegal. For one, the elderly may be just as capable as the young. Another point I brought up, as my second contention, was that businesses are liable to be held accountable in a lawsuit, therefore wasting hard-earned money. I look forward to continuing with this debate.

Sources
(1) http://dictionary.reference.com...
(2) http://dictionary.reference.com...
(3) http://dictionary.reference.com...
(4) http://www.idebate.org...
(5) http://www.eeoc.gov...
(6) http://www.greenwichtime.com...
Kinesis

Con

Thanks to dasamster for posting such an interesting debate topic. I shall present my counterpoints to Pro's arguments.

-- Pro's Arguments --

1. Pro contends that since the elderly may be just as capable as the young (90 year olds, 7 year olds? Really?), discriminating against them is just as unfair as discriminating on the basis of race or religion. Furthermore, he says that if age is a problem, employers can discriminate based on the poor performance entailed by it, and not the age itself.

1a. However, there are a number of problems with this. First and foremost, while in principle treatment of employees should be based on merit, it is very hard to test accurately for specific qualities employers are looking for- qualities which are often heavily influenced by age. For instance, take the job of a surgeon. In such a profession, lives hang on the ability to concentrate under pressure. Age has a direct consequence on the ability to concentrate, which deteriorates with time [1]. Since age is such a good indicator of a vital ability, it would be folly to ignore it when hiring. Age is also a good indicator of other abilities, such as energy and memory, which are vital to other professions- it simply cannot be ignored when reviewing employees for the suitability of different professions. The same, of course, is also true of professions where older candidates would be better suited- consulting, executive search etc.

Finally, let me note the absurd comparison my opponent is making here. Is he really claiming that age has no more relevance to job capability than race or religion? While the race or religion of a person give no important indicators either way, age has a clear impact on candidate's suitability, so the comparison just doesn't hold up.

2. Next, my opponent points out that former employees bring lawsuits against their employers due to age discrimination. Pro brings up a local case, in which a policeman was denied promotion because of his age.

2a. I am glad my Pro points out that doing so wastes money in his concluding remarks, because I was unsure as to what Pro intended this argument to prove with this argument. But if age discrimination were illegal, which my opponent is arguing for, there would be a spout of posers who had been fired/rejected because of their unsuitability, bringing lawsuits against their companies on the claim that they had been fired because their age. This would be further exacerbated because some of them WOULD have been fired for their age- justifiably, as per my previous argument.

In conclusion, my opponent has provided no compelling reasons to make age discrimination illegal. It would prevent companies making justifiable decisions based on the age of their candidates, and it would also open the door for people who had been fired/rejected for good reasons to falsely claim they had been fired due to age concerns.

[1] http://seniorliving.about.com...
[2] http://findarticles.com...
Debate Round No. 1
dasamster

Pro

I will refute what the negative stated and then i will rebuild my arguments of why it needs to be illegal.

Negative states and argues, referring to my first contention, by questioning what I stated meaning that adults can do just as much as teenagers can do and vice versa. I stated that it is just like discriminating because of race or religion. Negative states that age has a direct consequence on the ability to concentrate, which deteriorates with time. I disgree. Why do you think cultures around the country and around the world respect their elders? Not to make them feel better before they die, but because the elders have wisdom. Abilities and knowledge increase with age, not decrease! The negative refers to the job of a surgeon, lives hang on the ability to concentrate under pressure. That's what they go to medical school for ... to learn how to learn under pressure. Who cares if it's a 24 year old or a 40 year old doctor? As long as they know their skills, then they are all set.

The negative also states that people would be bringing lawsuits against their companies on the claim that they had been fired because their age. He also stated that this would be further exacerbated because some of them WOULD have been fired for their age. This, believe it or not, supports my argument. It shall be illegal because then age discrminination would not happen. It would reduce the amount of people in courts suing because the bosses and the companies would know it is illegal.

To restate my points... My first contention is that the elderly may be just as capable as the young. Since age is not necessarily an indication of inferior ability or potential, treating a person less favourably purely on the basis of their age is just as unreasonable and unfair as doing so on the basis of his race or religion. My second (and final) contention is that businesses are liable to be held accountable in a lawsuit. As a result of someone getting "let go" or demoted from their employer, they are going to try and get the money that they deserve.
Kinesis

Con

I thank my opponent for his timely response.

1. My opponent makes a good case in the first half of his rebuttal for MY side of the argument. He points out that with time, people gain knowledge and wisdom. So with jobs requiring a great deal of experience and knowledge, surely companies would be justified in preferring older, more experienced candidates over fresh faced teens? However, then Pro makes the universal claim that abilities and knowledge increase with age, and this is simply false. Is Pro seriously claiming that people's skill and abilities increase up until they die? A simple inquiry into the very elderly of the population will disprove this. Mental problems are also far more common in the elderly, so it isn't true that they will always become more knowledgeable as they age.

He makes no real rebuttal to my point about the job of a surgeon. I gave explicit evidence for the claim that age has a clear impact on a vital ability in the profession, and how does he respond? He says that they both learned how to concentrate under pressure in medical school, so they must both be equally competent! But this will not be the case, for the reasons I already gave and Pro has not addressed, so clearly Pro has not responded to the actual argument.

2. Pro thinks my second rebuttal supports his side of the argument. However, the only reason he thinks this is because he misunderstands it (perhaps I stated it unclearly). I will try and make my point clearer. If age discrimination is made illegal, then it would give people who had been fired for being, as my opponent claims, 'objectively' unsuitable, the opportunity to bring to court the FALSE claim that they had been fired because of their age. Making age discrimination illegal would increase these court cases, so it is not at all clear that the overall number of court cases would decrease.

To sum up- Pro has not defended point one well, making over-generalisations to try and support his point (which doesn't affirm the resolution anyway-in fact it supports the claim that we should discriminate based on age) and he has responded confusedly to point two, missing the overall argument.
Debate Round No. 2
dasamster

Pro

dasamster forfeited this round.
Kinesis

Con

Disappointingly, my opponent has decided to forfeit his last round. Thanks to him for the debate, and thank you to anyone who decides to judge it.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
A forfeit by itself does not warrant all points.
Conduct- CON (forfeits)
Grammar- TIED (no major infractions)
Arguments- CON (forfeits)
Sources- PRO (6-2)
Posted by Korashk 7 years ago
Korashk
All points to Con due to a forfeit by Pro.
Posted by Kinesis 7 years ago
Kinesis
Oh, come on. The conduct point? The spelling and grammar point?
Posted by desiflavour 7 years ago
desiflavour
Just to clarrify, I'm not sleep deprived right now when I say ur arguments are inaccurate damaster.
Posted by desiflavour 7 years ago
desiflavour
Actually, now that I think about it, Kinesis can make some good arguments against this
and do ignore the previous 2 posts...i'm rather sleep deprived at the moment
Posted by desiflavour 7 years ago
desiflavour
no wait, im not sure about the US
Posted by desiflavour 7 years ago
desiflavour
Exactly - that's called ageism. But your title says age discrimination should be illegal when it in fact already is. Doesn't really matter....just felt like pointing out.
Posted by dasamster 7 years ago
dasamster
im arguing that discriminating because of age is wrong.
Posted by desiflavour 7 years ago
desiflavour
up to 40? i think you may have gotten it wrong...

"The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits any employer from refusing to hire, discharge, or otherwise discriminate against any individual because of age. The act covers compensation, terms, conditions and other privileges of employment including health care benefits. This act specifically prohibits age-based discrimination against employees who are at least 40 years of age. The purpose of the act is to promote the employment of older persons and to prohibit any arbitrary age discrimination in employment."
http://www.answers.com...

Its meant specifically for people who are at least 40 years old. So your debate title is technically wrong. I think you're trying to argue against ageism?
Posted by dasamster 7 years ago
dasamster
yeah. i know.. if you look at one of the sources i provided, it only protects ppl up to age 40 (also included in my (speech) ... no matter what age, it should be illegal
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Koopin 7 years ago
Koopin
dasamsterKinesisTied
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Vote Placed by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
dasamsterKinesisTied
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Vote Placed by dasamster 7 years ago
dasamster
dasamsterKinesisTied
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Vote Placed by Korashk 7 years ago
Korashk
dasamsterKinesisTied
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