This is because the law is on your side, even when an employer may not be. If your company is making less-than-subtle efforts to “push you out” – for example, creating a paper trail that suggests poor performance, with often-groundless or very subjective evaluations – you may need to hire a personal injury attorney ( http://www.daviddrexlerlaw.com/
Such attorneys are well versed in the nuance and process of employment age discrimination. It is commonplace for companies to demote, terminate, transfer or suspend an employee simply because he or she is older (and often more expensive in healthcare and pension plan benefits). Consider the following to see if your case qualifies for age discrimination litigation:
When younger co-workers or supervisors use language that highlight your age in a negative context (“grampa,”
When baseless or subjective negative performance reviews are written because the employer is attempting to build a case for termination.
When inferences are made that you are not keeping up with changes in technology or company methods.
When the company has a track record of terminating individuals who are older than 40.
When you are replaced by a younger employee.
If several of these situations describe your situation, it may be time to contact a personal injury attorney.
What is Employment Age Discrimination?
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, age discrimination claims increased 28 percent in 2008, a rate almost double those of race, gender and other discrimination claims. Particularly in a down economy, layoffs affect older workers more – at an age where finding a new job is much harder. Perceptions that older workers are less productive than younger ones are disproved by productivity studies. However, the erosion in recent years of corporate policies that favored tenure means that lower level supervisors now have discretion on how they hire, fire and manage employees. According to Peter Cappelli, the director of the Center for Human Resources at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, “With that discretion, prejudice that may have always been there can be made manifest.”
The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits employment bias against people over 40 years of age on several points:
Discrimination should not occur in any part of the employment cycle: recruitment, application, interviews, hiring, compensation (wages and benefits), assignments, discipline, promotion and termination.
Age limitations can be cited only if it is a bona fide, necessary occupational qualification.
A reduction in force (downsizing, mass layoffs) should not show a pattern and disproportionate targeting of older workers.
Early retirements should not be forced.
Discrimination against an employee who files or testifies against the company in an age discrimination claim should not occur.
The employee can waive ADEA rights with a severance agreement, however no employee facing termination should be forced to accept a severance package without ample time to review it or counsel from an attorney.
Proving an employee discrimination case boils down to showing that intentional action was taken against an employee purely on the basis of age. Gathering evidence to support that case – and sharing it with your personal injury attorney in an expeditious manner – is essential.
R. Klettke is a freelance writer. He writes about personal injury and medical malpractice law and other matters of jurisprudence.
Important Advisory: This article is not intended to provide legal advice upon which you or anyone else should rely in making any decisions regarding the instituting or prosecuting of a legal claim. Laws and rules relating to the bringing of a claim vary widely from state to state. You should always contact a personal injury attorney to obtain information as to the rules and the laws pertaining to any claim you might have.