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# As the American workforce gets grayer, age discrimination will likely

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As the American workforce gets grayer, age discrimination will likely  [#permalink]

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Updated on: 01 Oct 2019, 01:43
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New Project RC Butler 2019 - Practice 2 RC Passages Everyday
Passage # 67, Date : 06-MAR-2019
This post is a part of New Project RC Butler 2019. Click here for Details

As the American workforce gets grayer, age
discrimination will likely become a more prominent
issue in the courts. It is, of course, illegal to
discriminate against an employee because of his or
(5) her age, and yet it is not illegal to dismiss a worker
because he has a high salary and expensive health
care.

This apparent contradiction is at the heart of a
raft of cases now making their way through the
(10) courts. The outcome of these cases will have
broad implications for the workplace in the coming
years. By 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has
projected that more than half of all workers will be
over 40—many of whom, by dint of seniority and
(15) promotions, will be earning higher than median
salaries, eligible for more stock options, and
carrying higher health care costs as a result of a
larger number of dependents and the increased
cost of health care for older workers.

(20) Is it any wonder that a bottom-line oriented
business might want to shed these workers,
whose productivity is likely to plummet in the next
few years, even as they become more expensive
employees?

(25) Still, the legal challenges of implementing this
policy are daunting. Businesses have the right to
rate workers on their productivity and to rank them
against their peers. But they are not allowed to
prejudge individuals based on their sex, race, or
(30) age. Each worker must be treated on his or her
own merits, rather than by how they fit into a larger
profile of the group they belong to.

For companies looking to lay off these workers,
the cost of making a mistake is high; while only
(35) one in three age discrimination suits are won by
the plaintiff, the awards tend to be steep and the
political fall-out harsh.
1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

A. advocate on behalf of the older American worker who could soon face dismissal
B. describe the origin of two theories of labor law and their effects on the workplace
C. present an overview of the legal ramifications of a practice some call discriminatory
D. describe the process by which America’s workforce is getting older
E. describe the methods by which a company could reduce its bottom line

2. Which of the following best describes the organization of the second paragraph of the passage?

B. A contradiction is stated and then quickly resolved.
C. A new theory is described and then qualified.
D. An apparent inconsistency is stated and its consequences outlined.
E. A conventional model is described and an alternative is introduced.

3. Which of the following, if true, would most effectively weaken the author’s assertion that a “bottom-line oriented business” might want to lay off older workers?

A. A new study shows that, on average, younger workers earn less and have lower associated medical costs than older workers.
B. Older workers have a higher rate of absenteeism than younger workers.
C. A new study shows that older workers are in fact more productive and have fewer medical expenses compared to younger workers.
D. A forecasted downturn in the economy will erode profits in may American businesses.
E. A new bill scheduled to become law will make it easier for employers to employ illegal aliens.

4. It can be inferred from the passage regarding the relationship between American companies and older Americans that

A. what is good for American companies is not necessarily good for older Americans
B. American companies are prohibited by law from practices that discriminate based on age
C. large monetary judgments from age discrimination suits might prove more expensive than paying older employees’ salaries
D. by the year 2030, the percentage of older employees will be even higher than in the year 2020
E. some older employees may well be more productive than some younger employees

5. The author mentions all of the following as driving up the cost to employers for employing workers over the age of 40 EXCEPT

A. the cost of out-placement services
B. a larger number of dependents
C. increased cost of health care
D. higher median salaries
E. the cost of employee stock options

Cracking the GMAT Premium 2019 (710)
Difficulty Level: 600

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Last edited by SajjadAhmad on 01 Oct 2019, 01:43, edited 1 time in total.
Updated - Complete topic (757).
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Re: As the American workforce gets grayer, age discrimination will likely  [#permalink]

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08 Mar 2019, 11:39
2
Hello patto

Official Explanation

1. The primary purpose of the passage is to

Explanation

Use POE. Choice (A) is incorrect because the passage describes a problem but doesn’t advocate. Choice (B) is incorrect because the passage doesn’t describe the origins of the ideas. Choice (C) is supported because the author maintains focus on the legal issues and states that some feel the practice is discriminatory. Choice (D) is incorrect because the passage isn’t just about how people get older. Choice (E) is incorrect because it isn’t the main focus of the passage.

2. Which of the following best describes the organization of the second paragraph of the passage?

Explanation

The contradiction highlighted at the beginning of the second paragraph is not resolved or qualified; it is stated, and then its ramifications are outlined.

3. Which of the following, if true, would most effectively weaken the author’s assertion that a “bottom-line oriented business” might want to lay off older workers?

Explanation

To weaken the assertion that it might be in the interest of employers to lay off older people, it is necessary to show why employing older people would be good for companies. Choice (C) is the only answer that does so, suggesting that older employees are actually more productive and have fewer health care costs.

4. It can be inferred from the passage regarding the relationship between American companies and older Americans that

Explanation

Choice (A) is unsupported by the passage, so eliminate (A). Choice (B) is directly supported by the first paragraph of the passage, so keep (B). Choice (C) is a bit of an appeal to outside knowledge, and as true as it may be, it is not supported by the passage, so eliminate (C). Choices (D) and (E) are both out of the scope of the passage, so eliminate them both.

5. The author mentions all of the following as driving up the cost to employers for employing workers over the age of 40 EXCEPT

Explanation

Use Process of Elimination. Choice (B) is mentioned in line 18. Choice (C) is in line 17. Choice (D) is in lines 15–16. Choice (E) is in line 16.

Hope it Helps
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Re: As the American workforce gets grayer, age discrimination will likely  [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2019, 11:27
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Re: As the American workforce gets grayer, age discrimination will likely  [#permalink]

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06 Mar 2019, 12:53
1
Hi,
Got all right, which is unusual for me as well. :D

Well here is my explanation:
1. Passage starts with a statement that American workforce is getting grayer and it brings its own concerns with it, such as more pay and increase in healthcare expense for the companies.
Then in second para it sheds light on present situation. Provides a “way-out” in third para for the companies willing to dismiss senior employees. Author goes on and describes legal ways of rating employees amongst their peers and dismissing them. Ends the passage along the same line of thought that even though its still illegal to discriminate on the basis of age but a company could dismiss, their could still be consequences and presents some data.
So, the main idea is Option C “present an overview of the legal ramifications of a practice some call discriminatory.”

2. 2nd para starts with “apparent contradiction” and this this is exactly what follows.
Author, based on present data and court cases, explains how cost inefficient it will be for the companies in coming years when the majority of workforce gets to a senior level.
Option D “An apparent inconsistency is stated and its consequences outlined.” states the same.

3. This was the second easiest of all. Anything that would present benefits of keeping senior employees even though they cost more would be the correct choice.
Hence Option C “A new study shows that older workers are in fact more productive and have fewer medical expenses compared to younger workers.”

4. C & B qualified as contenders but since C isn’t really a relationship that the question stem seeks even though it is mention in the end of para, I went with B which is indeed the correct choice.
“American companies are prohibited by law from practices that discriminate based on age”

5. This was the easiest.
All the options are mentioned in passage except A.

Thanks.
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Re: As the American workforce gets grayer, age discrimination will likely   [#permalink] 06 Mar 2019, 12:53
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