Proving Age Discrimination Is Harder Than Ever

As if finding and holding on to a job wasn't hard enough. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there's been a 17 percent jump in the number of age-discrimination complaints filed since the recession began in 2007. Federal law is supposed to protect workers 40 and older, but proving you've been denied a job or laid off to make way for younger and cheaper workers isn't easy. And the byproduct of a 2009 Supreme Court decision has substantially increased the burden of proof required to win an age-discrimination case.

NEWSWEEK's Nancy Cook recently spoke with Laurie McCann, a senior attorney with AARP Foundation Litigation, about what America's aging workforce needs to know. Excerpts: