CARP takes action against mandatory retirement

Older Canadians need to have choice based on ability, not age, in the workplace.

Believing strongly that mandatory retirement violates the equality and human rights of seniors. CARP has retained lawyer David Baker of Bakerlaw to launch a Charter Challenge against this discriminatory federal practice. CARP is taking such action to ensure justice and protection for seniors to have choice based on ability, not on age in the workforce.

CARP hears from seniors regularly who are experiencing discrimination by losing jobs because of their age. In many cases, the result is that they are forced into poverty- especially women and immigrants. In other cases, it leads to social isolation and even deteriorated physical and mental health. For all of these victims of mandatory retirement in the federal civil service and in federally chartered companies, Ottawa’s inaction in this area is unacceptable.

CARP has made a commitment to its members to initiate a Charter Challenge in order to obtain amendments to the discriminatory provisions in the Canadian Labour and Human Rights Codes that allow mandatory retirement.

Litigation wasn’t CARP’s first choice. But the determination to address the hardship seniors are experiencing because of mandatory retirement is strong. In CARP’s view, the policy cannot be justified or tolerated in today¢s society, especially with an aging population- and dwindling workforce to replace those who do retire.

It is important to note that CARP’s message to government includes a warning not to replace mandatory retirement with mandatory employment. Also, government must not tamper with the current ages to access public pensions.

Copyright 2007