Putting in many years on the job in California could result in age discrimination instead of rewards for hard work. An AARP report examined the economic consequences of workplace age discrimination. The report predicted that lower pay for older adults could cost the whole economy trillions of dollars by 2050. This will happen because older adults comprise a growing segment of the population. With more people earning less than they should, the overall economy misses out. As things stand now, researchers predict that older workers will contribute $28.2 trillion to the economy by 2050. If they did not face discrimination, then that figure could be $32.1 trillion.
Workers of any age continue to struggle to earn raises or find new jobs at higher salaries despite a robust economy. Older workers experience this problem to an even higher degree. A survey by Bankrate found that half of workers between 55 and 64 received no pay increases in the past 12 months.
Older adults typically have a reduced ability to move for new jobs compared to their younger peers. Employers appear to take advantage of this situation with older workers and withhold raises because they assume that their older employees will stay anyway.
In addition to stagnant wages, age discrimination can take the form of forced retirement or difficulty getting a job in the first place. Employment law specifically protects older people from discrimination, but legal representation might be needed to confront an employer. After evaluating how a person was treated and whether it differed from how an employer treated other employees, an attorney may recommend moving forward with a formal complaint. Mediation or arbitration of the claim might produce a settlement. If litigation becomes an option, then a person may ask attorney to manage that process.