Older, unemployed Houston workers may face barriers to employment

Being suddenly out of work in Houston is rough at any age. But it is doubly so when the laid-off, downsized, or fired employee is older. Older job seekers in Texas and elsewhere frequently face discrimination in hiring on the basis of their age. This is clearly illegal under applicable labor laws, but that doesn't stop all employers from engaging in the practice. Older employees are protected by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

The grim statistics show that there were approximately 2.5 million employees between the ages of 55 and 64 who became unemployed at some point during the years from 2009 to 2011. In the vast majority of cases, such job losses were due to layoffs because of company or plant closings, downsizing, and the elimination of job positions or work shifts. By January of this year, fewer than 50 percent of them had new jobs.

While a total of 13 million workers in the U.S. lost their jobs during that time period, older employees made up 19.6 percent of the newly unemployed, but only 15.1 percent of those who found new jobs. Given the many years of experience, training, and other qualifications which older employees have, it is difficult to account for this without considering the possibility that employers may be illegally discriminating against older job applicants.

Age discrimination may sometimes be difficult to prove, but those who believe that they may have been subject to such illegal and unfortunate treatment may consider filing a complaint against the employer for violating labor laws. As more victims of age discrimination come forward, perhaps employers will finally get the message that such actions are not only ill-advised and impractical, but also illegal.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Older Unemployed Less Likely To Get Hired Again," Arthur Delaney, Sept. 11, 2012

  • Our firm handles violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act as well as other discrimination cases. To learn more, visit our Houston Workplace Discrimination page.

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