As many Californians may know, age discrimination is illegal under the 1967 Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Under its auspices, it is possible to file a lawsuit if this discrimination occurs at work or during the hiring process. In addition, some states have enacted statutes that provide stronger protections.
In a study done by the American Association of Retired Persons in 2013, individuals aged 45 to 74 said they experienced or witnessed age discrimination. In 2014, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received 20,588 complaints of age discrimination, a 15 percent increase from 10 years ago. The number of cases with substantial proof was 7,429. The different between the two figures may be cause by a Supreme Court decision in 2009. The decision stated that age discrimination allegations must be supported by more proof than allegations regarding other forms of discrimination.
Another limitation is the lack of senior level job opportunities. Because of this, many individuals age 55 to 75 are competing against younger workers. Despite these challenges, about 82 percent of workers plan to work past retirement age. In addition, many feel unable to retire at all.
On source suggests that older workers need to look to professional networks they have established. Focusing on experience and showing potential employers that getting the job done is a top priority may dispel some issues. However, despite this, discrimination may occur. In fact, 33 percent of 1,100 baby boomer household interviews said that early retirement became necessary due to age discrimination. Further, 29 percent commented on restricted job opportunities due to age discrimination.
When an individual is discriminated against due to age, he or she may benefit from speaking with an attorney. The attorney may review the situation and provide insight into options that challenge such behavior.