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Higher education employees forced to retire early

Many 'baby boomers' across the country and here in California are looking forward to their retirement, planning ahead but happy to continue working. Recently, the New York Times highlighted a common fear among this age group -- losing their jobs as they are approaching the retirement age. Though we often hear about wrongful termination, cases like this one seem to becoming more common.

The former director of career services at Rutgers University held that position for 22 years with positive annual reviews from 1990 to 2011. He was 63 when he was removed from his position and shortly afterwards was fired. He then filed an age discrimination lawsuit against the university along with three other administrators who had been let go around the same time. Last year there were 22,857 people who filed complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming age discrimination. For comparison in 2006 there were 16,548, showing a dramatic increase in just six years.

One woman involved in this lawsuit claimed that the employee who was given oversight of their office would often ask when these employees were going to retire. They allege that this man wanted to bring in his own, younger, team, and in order to do so, terminated them.

The job market is already tenuous, and for older job applicants, it can be even more challenging. Often, they are unable to find employment which will allow them to continue the same standard of living they had in the past. Any concerns about wrongful termination or discrimination ought to be taken seriously, and speaking to an attorney can help to present options for compensation.

Source: The New York Times, "Pushed Out of A Job Early" Michael Winerip, Dec. 06, 2013

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