I've not experienced it, myself (as it was never particularly pertinent), but I've certainly heard of that sort of discrimination. It depends, I suspect, on one's field. For example, I suspect that if I, an attorney, tried any time in the near future to get a job in private practice now (after taking time off following the birth of my daughter to do my LLM and then becoming an academic), I'd probably not get much response. That might change after I've been back in academe for a while (but I hope never to have to find out!). I know a biologist who had to return to work as a retail clerk, just in order to start working again at all.
What is your field? Perhaps there's some way you could get consulting or contract assignments, even if they're not quite in your field, so you redevelop a track record of working and some recent references?