1232 Blue Ridge Blvd, Hoover, AL 35226

Nolan Elder Law and Estate Planning, LLC Blog

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Elder Law & Age Discrimination

Many senior citizens cannot afford to retire.  Even when they do, the elderly may need to still maintain part-time employment to supplement their income or other benefits.  However, their income is usually never as high as it was while being employed full-time. 

This issue is particularly tough since elders often face discrimination in the workplace, and report greater difficulty in securing and maintaining employment.  It is even reported that the elderly experience drawn out episodes of collecting unemployment benefits because of these issues.

The particular age group that may get hit with the most discrimination is sixty-five, or retirement age.  Some studies have demonstrated that age discrimination is even more prevalent against elderly females.   Discrimination at the workplace may include acts relating to assignments, compensation, and firing decisions, based on age rather than qualifications and skills.  This behavior is often accompanied with harassment.  

An elder law attorney can help you litigate the loss of work, lack of privileges, or other disparate work treatment relating to age discrimination.  Sometimes, an elderly person’s work benefits are reduced and retirement dates are compelled –one common negative effect of discrimination. 

What is worse, even creditors have been shown to discriminate against the elderly.   Creditors often view the elderly as a financial risk for debt repayment since their income may be lower.  However, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) was enacted to counteract this very problem.  Furthermore, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) is another that applies to elders, as it aims to protect those at or over forty years of age.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is tasked with the job of implementing ADEA and conducting investigations. 

Despite the numerous acts of legislation that purport to protect the elderly, discrimination is still widely prevalent.  You should consult an attorney to advocate on your behalf.  These cases are often difficult because it is hard to pinpoint whether a certain act, for example, by an employer, was motivated by prejudice.   A large discovery process is usually necessitated with these cases because proof of the discrimination will need to be presented.

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