Age an Increasingly Common Cause of Workplace Discrimination

Employment Lawyers Discuss Age Discrimination

According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), age discrimination claims have increased since 1997. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recorded 21,396 age discrimination claims in 2013. This is over 5,500 more claims than there were in 1997.

Currently, over 20 percent of United States workers are over the age of 55. That is about 33 million people, and this number is set to increase.

Why Has Age Discrimination Increased?

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) of 1967 was weakened in 2009, according to advocates, when a ruling by the U. S. Supreme Court made it harder to prove age discrimination.

A survey by AARP, involving 1,502 older adults, shows that about 64 percent of the participants have seen or experienced age discrimination at work. Most adults (92 percent) believe that age discrimination is common.

Is Age Discrimination the Most Common Form of Discrimination?

According to the EEOC, age discrimination is the third most common workplace discrimination charge that is filed, culminating in 28.8 percent of all discrimination claims. Only race (35 percent) and sex discrimination (29.5 percent) were more common. Other forms of employment discrimination include disability (27 percent), national origin (11 percent), religion (4 percent) and color (3 percent).

When Constitutes Age Discrimination?

Recently, two former employees of the San Francisco 49ers sued the NFL team for age discrimination. Both employees had worked for the organization for over 20 years. They both argue that they were not fired for performance reasons, but because new management wanted younger faces.

The new chief strategic officer, Gideon Yu, has been accused by the plaintiffs of using discriminatory language, such as referring to long-time employees as “legacy employees”. Additionally, the plaintiffs are accusing CEO Jed York of mentioning that the 49ers wanted to hire younger people. Both plaintiffs feel that the organization is attempting to conceal their removal of older employees in violation of the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act and the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

California has strong employment discrimination laws, but that does not stop many employers from discriminating against older workers. The ADEA protects older workers from being discriminated against in a wide variety of areas including hirings, firings, promotions, layoffs, compensation and benefits.

Actions that discriminate based on age are unlawful and can be remedied through legal action by an experienced Los Angeles employment lawyer. Call today for a free consultation.