Since the beginning of the Great Recession, the media has reported extensively on the issue of age discrimination within the American workforce. This increased media scrutiny has helped to educate the public about the illegal nature of age discrimination and the various ways it tends to manifest in hiring, promotion and termination. Thankfully, it seems that the number of reported cases of age discrimination is steadily decreasing.
According to TIME Magazine, 2014 marks the sixth consecutive year that the number of age discrimination claims filed with the federal government have fallen from the previous year’s rate of claims filed. Perhaps even more importantly, the number of claims filed that the government ultimately classifies as “reasonable” has been decreasing roughly for the past 20 years.
This trend is most welcome, as it seems that fewer older Americans are likely experiencing age discrimination in the workplace. However, it is important to remember that age discrimination remains a significant problem. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reports that 20,588 claims were filed with the federal government under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act in 2014 alone.
While fewer age discrimination claims are being filed generally, it is critical that employers remain vigilant about enforcing workers’ rights in the workplace and that older employees speak to an attorney about defending their rights if and when those rights are unintentionally or intentionally violated. Only by remaining focused on the issue can the American workforce hope to eliminate age discrimination in places of employment once and for all.
Source: TIME, “Pop Goes the Age Discrimination Bubble,” Dan Kadlec, Feb. 16, 2015