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Maybe you've lost your job. Maybe you're just worried about it. Or you just feel subtle pressure to step aside and let the young people move on up. Can you be fired because you make more money than a younger colleague? Do you have to laugh along with those digs about your age? What's against the law and what isn't? And what can be done if you think you are a victim of age discrimination?
Robert Lipsyte sits down to get the answers from the experts. Vincent J. Roscigno, Professor of Sociology at Ohio State University and author of The Face of Discrimination: How Race and Gender Impact Work and Home Lives, describes the emotional toll on older employees who get laid off. Michael C. Harper, Professor of Law at Boston University and a leading authority on labor law and employment discrimination, argues in favor of stronger legal protections for vulnerable older workers. And Jacqueline James, research director of the Center for Work and Family at Boston College, speaks up for what's great about seasoned employees: loyalty, reliability, good networks and work ethics.
Next, Lipsyte talks with TV legend Phil Donahue. Donahue fills us in on his latest project: his documentary about wounded veterans of the war in Iraq. The twenty-time Emmy Award winner says he does not miss the spotlight. Why? Because "it's nice not to have to jump out of a cake every day." And what's not-so-great about getting older? His hearing isn't what it used to be, Donahue confesses. Plus "it's harder to get out of the car."
Then Life (Part 2) hears from author and Columbia University Professor of English and Comparative Literature Edward Mendelson who explains the dangers of labeling older people-and why he finds one term of derision to be particularly offensive.