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Discrimination in Job Hunting

May 12, 1991

Your editorial about age discrimination in the workplace ("Putting Time in a Bottle," May 4) was greatly appreciated. While overt discrimination against those over 40 continues (complaints filed with government enforcement agencies have risen by 200% in recent years), your editorial identified the major culprit: "a society preoccupied with youth."

At Career Encores, we receive more than 400 calls a month from people 50-plus who are seeking employment. While facing discrimination less blatant than that experienced by chef Rex Kinney, many of our callers describe barriers they confront during their job search because of our society's preoccupation with anything young. Too often "old" is synonymous with "stodgy" rather than "wise." "Young" is synonymous with "creative" rather than "inexperienced." Speed is valued more than precision; action is valued more than reliability. We find that the workplace benefits from bringing together experience and enthusiasm.

SALLY E. JAMES, Executive Director, Career Encores, Los Angeles

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