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Struggles aging workers face

People in Texas searching for employment may have found themselves being evaluated when job hunting on discriminatory values such as gender, race or religion. One group that faces challenges during a recession are the elderly. Age discrimination often takes place during times of financial hardship since older and more experienced workers with higher salaries might face the risk of being replaced by someone younger who accepts lower pay.

Supreme Court rulings have hindered the effectiveness of the Age Discrimination Employment Act instituted in 1967. For example, plaintiffs in age discrimination cases must prove that age was the main reason for being fired after a 2009 ruling. An employer therefore might list several reasons for a layoff while a plaintiff must show that age was actually the main reason and not just a contributing factor.

A 2009 Supreme Court ruling eliminated the possibility mixed-motive age cases to be considered, so age must be the only factor in an age discrimination case in order for plaintiffs to be able to prove their case. Older workers may have an even tougher time proving discrimination as the Civil Rights Act does not include age but covers things like national origin, color and sex, and this can also lead to lesser damages when a case is successful.

When letting an older worker go, a company might give him or her a severance package while the worker waives the right to sue. The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act states that this is allowed as long as workers receive something that has real value, but an older worker might be stuck in a tough spot when a company wants to terminate his or her employment.

An elderly individual who accepts a severance package could have trouble finding another job while an older worker who stays with a company may be fired for dubious reasons. If someone thinks wrongful termination occurred due to age, he or she might wish to consult an attorney who might be able to help him or her file a discrimination suit.

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