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Lawsuits for Age Discrimination Increase

By jim  |  Dated: 02-17-2012



Finding employment in this economy is hard for anyone but it seems to be especially hard for older individuals, especially those who are ages 55 and up. The economy is still suffering from the Great Recession, which started in 2007 and ended in 2009. While the recession was over several years ago, the economy still has not been the same since it began. Different areas all around the United States are working hard to get the economy back on track but the entire process has been very slow. It has been proven, as well, that people ages 55 years old or older will have a harder time finding employment, as it will take around three months longer for them to find the employment they have been seeking compared to the average job applicant.

As there are currently a lot of older individuals seeking work during this time period, with such a slow economy and tough job market, the age discrimination lawsuits and complaints seem to be on the rise. However, many of these people are actually losing when it comes down to a lawsuit. It is believed that this is due to one particular lawsuit, Gross V. FBL Financial Services Inc.

Many years ago, back in 2003, Jack Gross noticed some staffing changes were taking place within the company he worked for. He noticed that the people who were under 50 years of age were not being demoted and that the only people within the company to get promotions were those who were generations younger. At the time, Gross was 54 years old and was working as the vice president of the company, FBL Financial. At that moment, he was demoted, along with many other older workers who performed well at the workplace. Gross decided to sue the company, all by himself and with no help of the other members that were also demoted. However, he said that after doing so, he was excluded from meetings and was basically made an outcast. He became very stressed about the situation but continued to work for the company.

Gross won a lower court hearing but when it went to the United States Supreme Court, Gross lost his cases in a decision that was 5-4. Gross was unable to provide legitimate proof of discrimination as it has become much more of a burden to provide proof within lawsuits with discrimination claims. This is the main reason why many other people have lost their age discrimination lawsuit cases. Gross believes he was treated unfair and really resents the treatment.

In the meantime, many older individuals are pursuing lawsuits for age discrimination; however, some lawyers are not willing to take on these cases because they know how difficult it can be to prove age discrimination is taking place.

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