In the last year, California has passed numerous laws meant to decrease the amount of employee discrimination. While most of these lean more towards preventing sexual harassment, there are a few that hope to minimize work discrimination as a whole. Certain laws make it more difficult for employers to reject harassment claims in the workplace.
These new laws could be beneficial for older workers who continue to face age discrimination in their respective fields. Recently, the financial information website MarketWatch highlighted various studies surrounding the current atmosphere for older workers that are either employed or still looking for jobs. There is still more work to do to minimize this issue despite some improvement in certain areas.
Small wage growth
Part of the positive data in the new study is that older workers that switch jobs have an increased wage growth of 6.3 percent, which is higher than the average 3 percent growth for all ages. However, this is primarily applicable for job switchers in professional fields such as attorneys or architects.
The standard wage growth for all older workers in their position is currently 2.4 percent, which is less than the all-ages average. It also explains part of the reason why the job switcher rate is so high, because older workers do not get the chance to financially grow in their jobs and leave to work somewhere else.
More time unemployed
It is important to note that job switchers are able to switch from one job to the next without dealing with weeks of unemployment. This does not apply for many other older workers. While the average duration of unemployment has dropped from 50 to 60 weeks down to 30 to 35 weeks, it is still more than double the amount of time it takes for younger job seekers to get hired.
Both younger and older job seekers are at a disadvantage when they apply for jobs. Younger job hunters often have to adjust to the transition from relying on their parents funding and must pay off student debt, while elderly workers have more medical expenses and retirement worries to deal with. Unfortunately, these statistics demonstrate that more employers ultimately prefer physical youth over decades of experience.
Low paying jobs
While the unemployment rate has gone down for older workers in recent years, not all of those jobs have the best salaries. The reports in the article show that hourly pay declines for those over 60 and that many workers around that age get lower paying jobs because there are few companies that would accept them and they need some form of sustainable income.
While the newer California laws may help eliminate some age discrimination in the workplace, it will take a lot more to eliminate these obstacles faced by older employees. If you believe your employer is holding you back because of age discrimination, an employment law attorney can help you seek compensation for what you deserve.