A recent article in the AARP Bulletin titled, “Forced Out, Older Workers Are Fighting Back”, highlights the fact that age discrimination claims by employees are on the rise. In 1997, 15,785 Charges of age discrimination were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 2013, 21,396 Charges were filed, an increase of more than 35 per cent. This trend follows an aging of the workplace population. More than 20 percent of workers in the United States (33 million), are age 55 and up. In addition, an AARP survey of more than 1,500 older employees, found that almost 64 percent indicate they have seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace, and of those, 92 percent say it is very or somewhat common.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) protects employees who are 40 and older from personnel decisions based on age in hiring, firing, layoffs, promotions or demotions, and applies to employers with at least 20 workers; the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act provides protection for employees employed by employers with 4 or more employees. The increase in the filing of Charges of age discrimination has not been impacted by a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, Gross v. FBL Financial Servs. Inc, which set what is viewed as a more difficult standard for employees to prove age discrimination, by requiring employees to prove that “but for” the plaintiff’s age, adverse action would have not been taken. Legislation introduced last year, the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, would amend and clarify federal anti-discrimination laws. The AARP article presents 5 real life examples of age discrimination in the workplace and can be viewed at http://www.aarp.org/work/on-the-job/info-2014/workplace-age-discrimination-infographic.html
While the U.S. Supreme Court ruling changed the legal standard to prove age discrimination, age discrimination claims remain viable and Abramson Employment Law frequently represents employees in age discrimination cases. For more information on age discrimination and Abramson Employment Law see http://www.job-discrimination.com/lawyer-attorney-1126515.html.