Q: Do I have a case for age discrimination?
Due to Covid 19 and the advice from CA health board for people over 65 to stay home (I'm 67) I took vacation time at the end of March and then was furloughed until I received the call last Tuesday and the letter yesterday to say my employment ends today June 30th. I was part of a team of 11 sales people. Of these sales people 4 of us were laid off (3 of us are over 60). They also laid off 2 part time receptionists also both over 60n and to my knowledge a senior technician who is 54.
During April the showroom was closed to walk in business but they kept a small team for internet sales and telephone appointments. Since then they have called back individuals except the ones they have laid off. I did not receive a call to come back. In March they transferred an individual (I think under 40) from being a service writer to being a salesman (a former Lithia employee from another dealership) and I also learned that they took on a new salesman in mid May (in his 50's).
A: Sorry to hear about this situation. IMO proving up an age discrimination case based on a disparate selection of older employees during a lay off, is a difficult and drawn out task. There are attorneys that have great success in it and you need to seek out that kind of attorney. You should also realize that the age protection is anyone over 40, and it sounds like your sales force may all come within the protection against age discrimination. It can still be age discrimination when employees are new hires and they come within the over 40 group but they are still substantially (and I think 10 years or more is substantial) younger than those selected for lay off and not brought back. The facts that you have provided all point to your age being an impermissible factor in your original selection for discharge and in your continued exclusion from a rehire offering. You will need a consultation with an age discrimination specialist that handles disparate treatment in layoffs. Good luck to you.
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