Now, with new troubles to confront, they are taking their complaints to the EEOC, which administers the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) that since 1967 has barred discrimination against workers age 40 and older.
"Baby boomers believe they helped develop the core values of our society, which prohibit discrimination," EEOC chairwoman Cari M. Dominguez said in an interview with the AARP Bulletin. "[They] see the [civil rights] laws that are on the books today as part of their own efforts" and are "very comfortable," she says, in asserting their rights.
Boomers have reason to be unhappy, as do many other older workers. With the economy still sluggish, layoffs are continuing at a high level. Total job cuts, which hovered above 400,000 annually in the mid-1990s, skyrocketed to nearly 2 million in 2001 and dropped to about 1.5 million in 2002, reports the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.
Noting a connection between the economy and age bias claims, Dominguez says, "The [claims] go up when opportunities go down."
That's no accident, suggests Dominguez, who is a boomer herself. She believes there remains a goo