Age discrimination claims have spiked in over a dozen states since 2018. Unfortunately, COVID-19 and the current recession will almost certainly worsen these trends into 2021. Older workers are especially at risk for “benign” discrimination and layoffs out of fear for their health, an issue unique to this recession.
According to Matt Clements, author of the recent Age Discrimination report published by MedicareAdvantage.com, age discrimination trends seem to be strongly dictated by unemployment rates. “One unexpected finding was a striking correlation between spikes in unemployment rates and the number of age discrimination claims in a given year,” said Clements. “We may see exploding rates of age discrimination claims in the coming year in states where unemployment has skyrocketed due to COVID-19.”
Even when older workers retire, over 20% plan to continue working to supplement their retirement and make a liveable wage. Layoffs during COVID-19 may prevent some older workers from ever finding another job and few will be compensated for wrongful termination. Only 7% of age discrimination claims ever reach settlements, according to data from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
You can take a look at the full study here. Below are some of the highlights of what was discovered.