The headline of the Ops page of the Plain Dealer on January 5, 2019, reads “Age discrimination more common than you think”. The author, Helaine Olen, proposes that older workers are not choosing to leave the workplace voluntarily to retire to a life of leisure…they are being forced into that decision because “they are likely victims of age discrimination”.
In a previous post regarding Boomers and Age Discrimination, it was noted that in recent years the courts have made it more difficult for employees to win age discrimination claims against their former employers. At the same time, older workers are running into barriers in seeking new employment, competing with younger workers for those opportunities.
The graphs below tell the story pretty explicitly. The chances of prevailing in a claim for age discrimination through the EEOC have been dropping steadily in the last 10 years.
I have been involved with a group called Encore NEO for the past 4 years or so, including serving as a board member. Our mission is to assist individuals age 50+ to craft meaningful careers and satisfying lifestyles for the second halves of their lives. Part of the work we do is to educate employers on the value of the older worker. We also work with individuals to explore “gig work”, as independent contractors, freelancers, which can be a solution to age discrimination in employment…..be your own boss.
I have found part-time work (“gigs”) to supplement my fixed income since leaving my career in HR, which leaves me the time to devote to other interests, such as this blog and Encore NEO. So far this has proven to be a good mix, and I encourage other “boomers” to explore this as well. The key is to stay involved as long as you can.