Age Discrimination Likely a Factor in Boomer Unemployment

While the economy may be improving, a substantial number of older
workers who lost jobs — even those lucky enough to be re-employed — are still
suffering. Two-thirds in that age group who found work again are making less
than they did in their previous job; their median salary loss is 18 percent
compared with a 6.7 percent drop for 20- to 24-year-olds. The re-employment
rate for 55- to 64-year-olds is 47 percent and 24 percent for those over 65,
compared with 62 percent for 20- to 54-year-olds. And finding another job takes
far longer: 46 weeks for boomers, compared with 20 weeks for 16- to
24-year-olds. Nor are those who believe age discrimination was a factor likely
to have much luck in court. In 2009, just as the economy was hitting
rock-bottom, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that toughened the standard for
proving bias. Since the Supreme Court ruling, most lawyers won’t even take age
discrimination cases. In an effort to change that, a bill has been filed in the
Senate each of the past several years, aimed at making it easier to bring a
discrimination lawsuit. The latest legislation has rare bipartisan support;
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) are co-sponsors.
“Older Americans have immense value to our society and our economy,” Mr.
Grassley said in a recent news release. “They deserve the protections Congress
originally intended.”

Source/more: New York Times 
Read the proposed legislation.

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