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Age discrimination: Still affecting Americans in the workplace

Getting older shouldn't mean you have fewer opportunities to find a good job, but that's how it can be in today's market. While age discrimination is illegal, getting fired for your age is something that still happens and can be hard to prove. If you feel that you may have been fired because you've gotten older and newer employees could be paid less or work more than you, then you may want to consider taking legal steps toward filing a lawsuit.

According to the author of a book on age discrimination in employment, the recession that America entered spurred age discrimination. Why? Younger and newer employees can often be paid less than their older and more experienced counterparts. That helps businesses save money and stay above water.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects workers from being discriminated against for their ages. The problem is that employers are often "at-will," and are able to fire or terminate a person's job for any reason at all. Unless you can prove that age was a primary factor in your termination, you may not be able to win your case.

One tactic that has recently been discovered is called "freeway therapy," which is when a company transfers its employees further from home. They then have to travel more, and at their ages, are more likely to retire and leave the company. The news reports that women are hit particularly hard by this discrimination. Approximately half of those who were terminated found themselves unable to find a job in the years following the recession, showing why it's so important to stop discrimination now, before more people have to suffer.

Source: CNBC, "For older workers, getting a new job is a crapshoot," Bob Sullivan, July 07, 2016

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