If Iwas hired at a restaurant at age 17 but then let go and told it was because of my age, is that legal?

I was hired as a Hostess at age 17, not a cook or server. I have already worked several pay periods and been paid. I was scheduled to work and recieved a call the day before saying they were having to let me go because of my age. There only reason was because I was not 18. There is a girl that has been working at this store since she was 16. I was not doing any job that required me by law to be 18, I didn’t think you could be fired because of your age. I would accept any other reason (if it were real) but to be let go only because I’m 17.

Asked on June 27, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately you can be fired due to your age--if the problem is your employer things you're too young. The anti-age discrimination laws protect those aged 40 and older, not those aged less than 40. It may be unfair, but it appears to be legal--and not that as long as it is legal, your employer is specifically allowed to be unfair in that it may fire person 1 for her age but not person 2; the employer does not have to be consistent. More generally, if you lack an employment contract, you are an employee at will and may be fired at any time, for any reason not specifically made illegal.

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