Age Discrimination and Baby Boomers

Reading through one of the business insurance magazines  that I get (yes it is terribly exciting) I found some notes and statistics that I thought were interesting.  A couple of the articles were talking about as the workforce ages because of the baby boomers more age discrimination cases are being filed.  Basically there are more 55 and older employees because of the baby boomers.  More of the baby boomers are not retiring at age 65.   So you have a bigger percentage of the workforce that is older, a bigger percentage of employees that are not retiring which equals into more age discrimination cases being filed. 

Some tips that were provided to avoid age discrimination claims: be sure reasons for terminating older workers are well documented, don’t assume older workers are incapable learning new things (I had to laugh out loud at this one), give older workers terminated in reductions in force the opportunity to apply elsewhere in the company, when laying off older workers be sure paperwork is in order, including release of liability forms in severance packages, offer generous severance packages in return for signed releases of claims, be honest about your reasons for letting an older worker go, avoid making ‘ageist’ comments, examine demographic data in layoffs to be sure older workers are not disproportionately represented. 

 The Stats:

  • 23% of the discrimination claims filed in 2012 with the US EEOC included age discrimination
  • 42% of the unemployed that are 55 and older– are out of work for 52 weeks or more
  • 34% of labor force is 34 and under
  • 49% of the unemployed are 34 and under
  • 21% of the labor force is 55 and over
  • 16% of the unemployed is 55 and over
  • 62% of workers 45 to 60 who plan on delaying retirement in 2012. Up from 42% in 2010.


Sources: The Conference Board Inc.;  US EEOC; US Census Data Current Population Survey, 2012 annual Statistics; Bracing for a baby boomer backlash by Judy Greenwald;

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