Wrongful termination is illegal. Law defines wrongful termination as when an employee’s contract of employment has been terminated by the employer while breaching one or more terms of the employment agreement or a state rule that applies to employment law. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of color, religion, sex, or national origin. If you have been terminated from your job because of your age, you can pursue a claim against your employer to recover compensation for your damages.
As an example, if you are 50 and you have worked for your employer quite some time and you have positive employment reviews, but without warning your supervisor tells you that you no longer fit the image of the company so they have to let you go because they are going with a younger, fresher look, then you have been wrongfully terminated because of your age. You can pursue a wrongful termination claim against your employer to recoup your damages.
How Older Employees Are Protected
The law – The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) - protects employees who are age 40 and older if they work for a business that has 20 or more employees. The ADEA makes it illegal for employers to discriminate based on age in employment privilege, terms, conditions, or pay. Age discrimination can take many forms, so you should watch for the signs of it, and always preserve evidence and supporting documentation that indicate age discrimination has taken place and that your employer is responsible.
Signs Of Age Discrimination In The Workplace
There are many signs of age discrimination in the workplace. If you notice any of these, or other strange behaviors or inappropriate treatment, you should consult with an employment law attorney about pursuing a claim against your employer for age discrimination.
- Older workers are being offered buyouts or being terminated from their positions
- Older workers being reassigned work duties
- Pattern of only hiring younger employees becomes existent
- You stop getting pay raises and you are turned down for promotions
- You are hearing inappropriate comments that include references to age
- Inappropriate jokes about “old” people or negative remarks are made about age
- You are reassigned to unpleasant duties or to undesirable work hours
You should document everything. Be sure to keep track of hiring and firing patterns as well as promotions, demotions, and job assignments. Maintain supporting documentation, such as memos, emails, or messages. If there are sings posted, or jokes posted, be sure to get a digital photo to use as evidence. Also, take note of any witnesses and ask any witnesses to provide written statements regarding the situation.
If this has become an ongoing pattern, you should make note of any coworkers or former coworkers who were subjected to age discrimination as well. You will need documentation that supports your claim and that shows age discrimination exists in your workplace.
What To Do After Being Fired Due To Your Age
As previously mentioned, you will need to maintain supporting documentation and evidence for your claim against your employer. You will need to familiarize yourself with the state and federal laws that apply to your specific situation, so you will be able to follow proper procedures and get your claim handled properly and efficiently.
You will need to provide documentation that tracks the employer’s behavior. If they have done this before, you will need to indicate that. Time to pursue a claim after age discrimination is limited. You only have 180 days from the date of the incident to file your claim per the ADEA. Your claim will need to be filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Speak With An Employment Law Attorney
If you have been wrongfully terminated due to age, you should enlist the help of an employment law attorney who handles age discrimination cases. With the help of an attorney, you are much more likely to recoup your damages, which include lost wages and lost benefits. Employment law attorneys are familiar with the state and federal employment laws that apply to age discrimination.
When you talk with the lawyer, your attorney will let you know if he or she charges an upfront retainer or if your case will be taken on a contingency basis. To ensure your claim is handled properly and promptly, complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share details with an employment law attorney in your area.