Q: Last Wednesday I was told my job was eliminated. Is there any protection for older citizens?
I was told in November that we would have new phrases of development that I could help with. Now my boss said I do not have the knowledge. He asked me two weeks ago when I was planning on retiring. I have been with a company for 32 years and will be turning 64 in June.
A: Yes. If you are 40 years of age or older there's the possibility you are being discriminated on the basis of age. Make an appointment with an attorney who handles discrimination in employment cases as soon as possible. Bring as many pay stubs as you can gather for the past year, a copy of the employer's employee handbook (if available) and any other relevant documents to the first appointment. Don't write on the documents, just bring them.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (“ADEA”) protects employees who are 40 years of age or older from employment discrimination based on age. There also may be state laws that protect you. Both of these sets of laws (Federal and State) have size requirements as to the required size of the Employer.
Asking an employee when the employee is going to retire is a classic example of a forbidden question. It is important that you document such question - at the minimum by keeping notes/ a written chronology of such improper statements and events. Other actions may also be warranted.
You do have many options on how to proceed, and the best thing for you to do is to speak to an employment attorney in your city/ state (preferably a NELA attorney - National Employment Lawyers Association - such as myself), who can ask you detailed questions to ascertain the best course of action for you to take.
David Porter, Esq.
33 N. LaSalle Street
Chicago, Illinois 60602
Phone: (312) 236-1207
Fax: (844) 270-1764
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