纽约时报文摘 | 揭开美国职场年龄歧视的面纱


Three Men, Three Ages. Who Do You Like?

It turns out that a young Max and a middle-aged Max can get away with saying things that an old Max cannot.

At least that is the conclusion of a new study by Princeton researchers aimed at measuring age discrimination, one of the toughest forms of workplace bias to prove.

The subjects of the experiment — 137 Princeton undergraduates — were shown a video of a man who would be their partner in a trivia contest. His name was Max, he was white, neither handsome nor ugly, wore a checked shirt and said he was from Hamilton, N.J.

What the students did not know was that there were actually three different versions of Max, being played by different actors, 25, 45 and 75 years old.

Each Max adhered to the same script with one exception. When describing himself, half of the time the Max character said he was the kind of person to share his wealth with relatives (the compliant Max); and the other half of the time, Max said he felt no obligation to share (the assertive Max).

The students were then asked their opinion of Max. For those who saw the 25- or 45-year-old Max, it made no difference whether he was compliant or assertive. But students who saw the 75-year-old actor gave the assertive Max a high negative rating.

The results, soon to be published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, illustrate the subtle bias older men and women may face in the work force.
这显示出较为年长的人在工作中可能会受到微妙的区别对待。研究结果即将发表在《个性与社会心理学通报》(Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin)上。

“If you want to be an aging gray panther, and speak your mind to your manager, that’s fine,” said Susan Fiske, a Princeton professor and a co-author of the study with Michael North, who recently completed his Ph.D. “But expect consequences.”
“你要是想成为一个年迈又脾气暴躁的人,敢对经理直话直说,那也行,”普林斯顿大学教授苏珊·菲斯克(Susan Fiske)说。“可是得做好承担后果的心理准备。”这项研究是她和迈克尔·诺斯(Michael North)共同开展的,后者最近刚获得了博士学位。

There is little doubt that such discrimination exists. When an older man or woman is laid off, it typically takes two to six months longer to find a new job than it takes younger workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the new job is likely to pay considerably less.
很少有人会怀疑这种歧视是否存在。美国劳工统计局(Bureau of Labor Statistics)数据显示,年长者被解雇后,通常需要比年轻就业者多花2至6个月才能找到新工作。而且新工作的薪水可能会显著降低。

During the recent recession, many unemployed older people told a similar story. They sent in their résumé and got called for an interview, but when they walked in, potential employers saw their white hair and that was it.

Feeling discrimination is one thing, proving it another. “It’s simply harder to establish,” said David Neumark, a professor at the University of California, Irvine.
但感觉受到歧视是一回事,证明却是另一回事。加州大学欧文分校(University of California, Irvine)教授戴维·纽马克(David Neumark)说,“想要证实,的确很难。”

Winning an age discrimination lawsuit has become much harder since a 2009 United States Supreme Court case, Gross vs. FBL Financial Services. Before that, the employee had to show that age was a factor contributing to the layoff. Now, the employee has to show that age was the determining factor leading to the layoff, a much tougher standard.
自从2009年美国最高法院(Supreme Court)对“格罗斯诉FBL金融服务公司案”(Gross vs. FBL Financial Services)做出裁决之后,赢得年龄歧视案件的难度就极大地增加了。这项裁决做出之前,员工需要证明年龄是促成解雇的一个因素。现在,员工必须证明年龄是导致解雇的决定性因素。后者的标准苛刻得多。

“Plaintiffs’ attorneys have told us that they will not take age cases anymore because of the Gross decision,” says Laurie McCann, an attorney with AARP.
美国退休人员协会(AARP)的一名律师劳丽·麦卡恩(Laurie McCann)表示,“原告人的律师告诉我们,由于格罗斯案的裁决,他们不再接年龄歧视案件了。”

The older generation, those born from 1946 to 1964, accounts for the fastest-growing segment of workplace discrimination claims. In 2012, 22,875 people filed age claims with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, compared with 15,875 in 1997. That represents 23 percent of all the individuals filing claims in 2012 versus 19 percent in 1997. At the same time, the percentage of people filing race claims has decreased to 33 percent of all claimants, from 36 percent; its held steady at 30 percent for sex discrimination.
出生于1946年至1964年间的年龄较长的一代人,已经成了职场歧视投诉中增长最快的群体。在2012年,有22875人向联邦公平就业机会委员会(Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)提起了年龄歧视投诉,而1997年有15875人。在投诉者总人数中所占的比例,2012年为23%,1997年为19%。与此同时,提交种族歧视投诉的个人占总投诉人数的比例从36%减少到了33%。提交性别歧视投诉的人数占总投诉人数的比例则持平,维持在30%。

With age discrimination claims on the rise, a growing number of academics are undertaking research projects aimed at better identifying it.

In 2010, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation began a “Working Longer” project, which has awarded 66 research grants focused on age discrimination, including the Princeton study. Kathleen E. Christensen, the program director, says it was spurred by a graying population that will be healthier and stay in the work force longer.
2010年,艾尔弗雷德·P·斯隆基金会(Alfred P. Sloan Foundation)启动了“工作更久”(Working Longer)项目,发放了66份关注于年龄歧视的研究拨款,其中就包括普林斯顿大学的这项研究。项目总监凯瑟琳·E·克里斯滕森(Kathleen E. Christensen)说,设立这个项目的原因是,正在老龄化的人口更加健康,也能继续工作更长时间。

“Anything that involves baby boomers assumes greater significance just because of the sheer numbers,” she said.

One grantee, Sarah von Schrader, a Cornell research associate, says that more than 60 percent of equal employment complaints are related to job dismissals; only 10 percent involve hiring bias, which, she says, is the most difficult of age cases to document.
得到资助的康奈尔大学(Cornell)研究员莎拉·冯·施拉德(Sarah von Schrader)表示,超过60%的就业平等投诉与解雇有关,只有10%涉及雇佣歧视。她说,后者在年龄歧视投诉中是最难获得书面证据的。

Joanna Lahey, an associate professor at Texas A&M, has created an innovative — though limited — audit model for calculating age bias. In a 2005 study, she sent out 4,000 résumés to businesses in Boston and St. Petersburg, Fla., for fictional job applicants from 35 to 62. The applications were for entry-level fields like data processing and fast-food service — the sort of jobs requiring little work experience. The applicants were all women, since employers might plausibly assume an older woman “has been at home taking care of the family.”
德州农工大学(Texas A&M)副教授乔安娜·拉希(Joanna Lahey)建立了一个富有创新性,不过具有局限性的审计模型来计算年龄歧视。在2005年的一项研究中,她向波士顿和佛罗里达州圣彼得斯堡的企业发出了4000份简历,这些虚构的应聘者年龄在35岁至62岁之间,申请的职位都是入门级工作,如数据处理和快餐服务的岗位。这些职位几乎不需要工作经验。所有的申请人都是女性,因为雇主可能会合理地推断,较为年长的女性“一直在家照顾家人”。

Dr. Lahey found that a younger applicant was 40 percent more likely to be called for an interview than someone 50 or older. In Boston, the younger person needed to send 19 résumés to get an interview; for older workers it took 27 résumés; in Florida, the comparable numbers were 16 versus 23 résumés .