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Fighting over WordsLanguage and Civil Law Cases$
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Roger W. Shuy

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195328837

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195328837.001.0001

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Age Discrimination

Age Discrimination

Richard Hannye v. General Electric Company

Chapter:
(p.151) CHAPTER 14 Age Discrimination
Source:
Fighting over Words
Author(s):

Roger W. Shuy (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195328837.003.0015

A mid-level manager in his fifties was dismissed by a large company that provided no reasons for dismissal concerning his performance or attitude. He then brought an age discrimination case against that company, which subsequently defied a court order to turn over all relevant company files related to this employee. Nevertheless, electronic searches were then made for media articles about the company, toward the effort of finding evidence of discrimination in quoted statements of company officials and spokespersons. The search turned up thirty-two documents including four public speeches by the president of the company. Research on age-related language stereotyping provided clues to age bias. This was compared with the quotations of company executives that enabled the creation of taxonomies of the lexicon and expressions of the company's view of desirable managers, older employees, and younger employees, all of which indicated age bias against older workers in the selection, retention, and promotion of managers.

Keywords:   age discrimination, electronic searches, language stereotyping, taxonomies, lexicon, expressions, age bias

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