According to the survey, more than 45 percent of workers over the age of 50 said that they were concerned about age discrimination at work. More than a quarter answered affirmatively when asked whether they had been denied a job opportunity because of their age. Nearly as many said they believed they had been fired, laid off or forced to retire from a job because of their age. Just as many said they had to suffer rude and discriminatory comments regarding their age from co-workers and even bosses.
Our California age discrimination lawyers know that we’re kidding ourselves if we think New York is the only place it’s happening.
The poll was offered to some 1,500 people from throughout the five boroughs of the city. The sample size was large enough to suggest we could easily find the same kinds of behaviors happening here on the West Coast. And indeed, we have.
Just recently, there was the local NBC affiliate reporter who filed suit for alleged age discrimination, saying his bosses forced him out and replaced him with a much-younger reporter who lacked the qualifications and awards he had under his belt.
The issue of age discrimination has been a primary focus for the AARP for several years now, with the elder advocacy group highlighting numerous instances of such violations across the country.
In addition to the survey findings, the agency noted that when workers who are older than 55 lose their jobs, it can take them, on average, four months longer than younger workers to land a new position. For many people, that can be enough to push them into bankruptcy. In some cases, it has meant early retirement – but not in a good sense. Those who are forced to retire before they were fully prepared often must live much closer to the vest and may contend with tough financial choices.
And they shouldn’t have to because age discrimination is illegal.
However, a U.S. Supreme Court decision earlier this year has made it tougher for plaintiffs to file such cases. The ruling of University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar, while not specifically about age discrimination, strengthened protection of employers in such cases by requiring a “but-for” standard of proof. Basically, the law guarantees workers protections on the basis of age, race, color, gender, national origin and religion. However, if the worker complains about discrimination and says the adverse employment action was taken as a result of that complaint (i.e., retaliation), a stricter standard will apply, one that requires workers to show that the action would not have been taken but-for the discrimination.
A pending piece of litigation, the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, could help to close the gap on this issue. However, there appears little chance it will pass during this session. At this point, it’s still floundering in committee.
That doesn’t mean age discrimination lawsuits aren’t worth filing. Our California labor law attorneys know that while the hurdles are higher, they aren’t impossibly high. We are committed to ensuring that you will obtain justice.
Costa Mesa employment lawsuits can be filed with the help of the Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 949.375.4734.
Age discrimination said to be rampant in New York City, Oct. 8, 2013, By Mark Huffman, ConsumerAffairs.com
More Blog Entries:
California Age Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Local Government, Oct. 8, 2013, Costa Mesa Employment Lawyer Blog