Siegal & RichardsonLLP

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Age discrimination can contribute to a difficult retirement

For many California workers over 40, age discrimination continues to be a significant concern on the job. Even as medical advances are enabling people to live longer, healthier lives, older workers may face challenges when seeking promotions or looking for new employment. This trend continues to be a problem despite the aging population. While only 12 percent of the population was over 65 in 2000, that number is expected to climb to 22 percent by 2050. The changing demographics are accompanied by an escalating retirement age and growing needs for financial support.

While many programs focus on promoting work later in life, finding lucrative employment can be a challenge if age discrimination remains a factor. In fact, age discrimination may push workers to retire early; studies have found that one reason why 62 is the most popular age to begin collecting Social Security is due to a lack of advancement or opportunities. One study examined survey results from over 2,000 workers over 50 who were employed full-time for five or more years by one company. Over half of these working adults were forced from their jobs due to early retirement or layoffs. Another 9 percent left work due to family or medical problems.

Researchers also found that these workers suffer long-term financial consequences, even if they find another job or return to work. Only 10 percent of those who left their jobs involuntarily were able to find new work with the same status or income.

This may be due to the impact of workplace discrimination as employers decline to hire these older workers when launching searches for new employees. A worker who has suffered financial losses due to age discrimination can partner with an employment law attorney to seek compensation for their damages.

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