Mass layoffs and smaller reductions in workforces are causing an astonishing uptick in the volume of age discrimination lawsuits filed against employers. While companies must cut expenses in the current economic environment, reducing head count without assessing the potential liability may actually add to costs instead. The most recent statistics from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) indicate a 28.7% increase in age discrimination claims in 2008 from the year before.
A record 24,582 claims alleging age discrimination were filed against employers last year. With companies shedding millions of jobs and unemployment figures rising by the week, more claims are likely this year. Adding fuel to this fire are recent court rulings making it easier for plaintiffs to file such claims and the Obama Administration's pro-labor agenda.