What can I do about wrongful termination?

Over the past three year, I was hired, the promoted and relocated. I was then demoted unjustly and returned to my previous location. Upon return i have had nothing but harassment,

discrimination and overall just a hostile work environment. I have never been terminated in over 35 years. I feel this is age discriminationover 50 and harassment.

Asked on June 30, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

There is no such thing as legally wrongful termination (though, of course, a termination may be ethically or morally wrong), given that employment is employment at will, unless--
1) The termination is in violation of the terms of a written employment contract.
2) The termination (or employment harassment or discrimination) was due to a protected characteristic, chief of which are race, national origin, sex, disability, religion, and--most importantly for you--age over 40.
In regards to 2): an older employee can be terminated (or subject to unpleasant conditions or disciplined) so long as the reason for that treatment was not age--i.e. he or she could be subject to negative treatment due to a peformance issues, insubordination, lateness or absenteeism, customer complaints, violating workplace policy, etc. But if an older worker suffers some negative consesquences or is subject to negative treatment and there is no logical or reasonable explanation or cause, then it may be illegal age-based discrimination or harassment.
If you don't think there is any non-age reason for this treatment, then you should contact the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency to inquire about filing an age-discrimination complaint.


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