As the baby boomer generation ages, older workers are expected to have a bigger and bigger presence in the workforce. U.S. Department of Labor estimates predict that, by 2024, around a fourth of active workers in the U.S. will be age 55 or older.
Unfortunately, there are challenges seasoned workers can face in the workplace. Sometimes, they don’t get the respect and fair treatment they deserve from employers. Age discrimination can arise in the hiring, termination and employment decisions of businesses.
A recent survey suggests that many working baby boomers have experienced unfair treatment due to age. In the survey, by iHire, over 1,250 job-seekers who self-identified as being a baby boomer were polled. Over half (53 percent) said that they have felt age-based discrimination from an employer.
Age discrimination is very harmful. It can keep seasoned, quality workers out of higher paying jobs, and lead to them having to take lower paying jobs that they are overqualified for. Estimates point to a good portion of job growth for older workers coming from low-wage or unstable positions.
In addition to being unfair and harmful, this type of workplace discrimination is also illegal. Under federal and Pennsylvania law, employers are prohibited from taking negative employment actions against workers for being over 40.
So, victims of age discrimination can have legal options for responding to the wrong done to them. Now, there are challenges workers can face when pursuing age discrimination claims. For example, difficulties can arise in proving that a given negative employment action was driven by age discrimination rather than some legitimate reason. Workers, however, don’t have to face these challenges alone. Skilled employment law attorneys can help victims of workplace age discrimination fight for justice and assist them with overcoming barriers to getting the legal remedies they deserve.