Over the last several years, the economy has hit workers in California hard. Thousands of people were laid off as the Great Recession plagued the country. Many workers have spent months and even years trying to find any place that would hire them. Many of the workers that were laid off were baby boomers, nearing the end of their careers — but not quite ready for retirement.
Recently, the economy has started to rebound in many places. The economy is slowly growing and businesses are starting to hire workers again. However, many of those older California workers who were laid off are finding that they are not getting re-hired. Those that are getting hired are making substantially less money — 18 percent less on average — than they were making before the recession.
According to recent data, the re-employment rate for those over 65 is only 24 percent, and for those aged 55 to 64, the re-employment rate is only 47 percent. On the other hand, workers who are between 20-years-old and 54-years old have a re-employment rate of 62 percent.
These statistics suggest that there may be age discrimination against older workers trying to find work. Under California employment laws, it is illegal for employers to discriminate against workers because of their age. Despite these employee laws, age discrimination, and other forms of workplace discrimination occur frequently in California.
Workers who believe that their age may have been a factor in their employers’ decision to lay them off, skip them for a promotion or not hire them in the first place should understand their legal rights. These employees may be eligible for much needed compensation.
Source: The New York Times, “Set Back by Recession, and Shut Out of Rebound,” Michael Winerip, Aug. 26, 2013