From Rock Star To Rocking Chair??

My article last week in Above The Law was entitled “Should Men Use Botox?  Ask The Thirtysomethings Who Want To Look Young Again.”

Its about workplace age discrimination in a world with an aging population.

I wrote that “Sigh … we all get old.  Hopefully. …

Age is the only protected category under the employment discrimination laws that we all hope we enter. (Except for pregnancy, I guess, which eliminates a lot of us).  We may hope to become old, but the workplace has yet to become welcoming – or accepting.”

Well, I received an unexpected and much appreciated Twitter endorsement of my article from Ashton Applewhite, to whose New York Times piece last September I devoted an entire blog post.

Ashton Applewhite
@richard09535496 Excellent piece, I’m circulating it. You’d like my book, This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism.


Since he has written the definitive work on ageism today, “This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism,” I want to re-print my previous post about his NYT article, see below.

From September, 2016:

“You’re How Old? We’ll Be in Touch (by Ashton Applewhite In The NYT)”

I’ve written a lot about ageism, age discrimination, studies and stereotypes about older workers, the ADEA, and everything related.

But surely not nearly as well as Ashton Applewhite, author of “This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism,” and a short piece published in the Review Section of tomorrow’s New York Times.

I want to quote the entire NYT article, but can’t and won’t.  I will just give a short, truncated quote and leave it to you to read his work – it deserves more than a few readings.

He says that “In 2016, almost 20 percent of Americans 65 and older are working. … These older people represent a vast well of productive and creative potential. Veteran workers can bring deep knowledge to the table, as well as well-honed interpersonal skills, better judgment than the less experienced and a more balanced perspective. … Why, then, are well over a million and a half Americans over 50, people with decades of life ahead of them, unable to find work? …

The problem is ageism … [a] dumb and destructive obsession with youth so extreme that experience has become a liability. … Age discrimination in employment is illegal, but two-thirds of older job seekers report encountering it.”

His piece is full of anecdotes, studies, statistics, sad stories, and not just a little anger.

He concludes:  “Confronting ageism means joining forces. It means seeing older people not as alien and ‘other,’ but as us — future us, that is.”


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Richard Cohen

Richard B. Cohen is a partner in the New York City office of FisherBroyles, LLP, a national law firm. Richard Cohen has litigated and arbitrated complex corporate, commercial and employment disputes for more than 35 years, and is a trusted advisor to business owners and in-house counsel both in the United States and internationally. His clients have included Fortune 100 companies, domestic and foreign commercial and investment banks, Pacific-rim corporations and real estate development companies, as well as start-up businesses throughout the United States. Email Richard at [email protected]