Date of Graduation

12-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Degree Level

Undergraduate

Department

Marketing

Advisor

Adams, Jason

Reader

Norwood, John

Second Reader

Leflar

Abstract

Age is just a number. This phrase has been murmured time after time in history. From famous movie scenes, song lyrics, pages in books, and wisdom from mothers, everyone has heard this at least once in their lives. Some joke that age only matters in wine and cheese. Some argue that age is all a limitation that the mind gives you. People are taught to never ask a woman how old she is, and as a society we celebrate certain ages such as twenty-one and sixteen, yet shun and deny those such as thirty and fifty. There are rules for dating between certain ages, and we are granted new rights and responsibilities as our eternal clocks tick on longer and longer. Society has created its own formula for finding appropriate dating ages, dividing the older person’s age by two and adding seven, producing the youngest age they can “rightfully” date. There are psychological studies based on age. Clothing choices are made based on “age appropriateness”. As a society, we tell each other that “age is just a number”, but box ourselves in with rules and traditions based around that very thing, age. In every realm of life, age is relevant. In some aspects of life, age is everything. However, with our changing world, the rights and beliefs on age are changing. The United States has passed laws to protect those of certain age groups, and works to give help and aid to those in age groups that are more vulnerable than others. In our changing world, age is changing too. “Forty is the new thirty” these days. Couples are getting married and having children older than they used to. Education is taking more time. Life expectancy is rising exponentially with daily scientific findings and revelations. The world is changing, but many of our laws and traditions are not keeping up the pace. A very specific example that is gaining momentum among the business sector of the United States is the question of weather accounting firms are breaking the law by forcing mandatory retirement clauses in the contracts of their partners. This hot topic has two very distinct sides and is progressively being brought forward to the media and in court trials. Though the whispers are turning to shouts, there still is no legal presidency that has been set to answer if these firms are being unethical. Is mandatory retirement wrong? Unethical? Are mandatory retirement provisions that are increasingly being added into the contracts that accounting firm partners are expected to sign violating the 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act?

Keywords

accounting, retirement, mandatory, firms, Big Four, Age Discrimination

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