What constitutes an age discrimination case?

UPDATED: Dec 21, 2012

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What constitutes an age discrimination case?

I was recently laid off. I had never been written up or had any warnings about my job performance. When I was laid off, all I was told was that I was the one chosen out of my department. I’m 40, and everyone else in the department is younger. Do I have a case under the Age Discrimination In Employment Act?

Asked on December 21, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you are 40 or older, you may have a case, since you are old enough to be in proteced category. However, that does not mean you can't be fired; it just means that you can't be fired due to your age. If there was a non-discriminatory reason, the firing is legal. You state that you have never been written up or had warnings about performance--that is certainly evidence that this may have been discrimination. However, if you recently did something wrong (even if it were not written up); or the company has restructured so it does not need your position; or you had a conflict with a manager; or you lesser skills or credentials than other employees; etc.--i.e. if there is some reason other than age discrimination behind the termination--it may be lawful.

From what you write, there is certainly enough of a case to consult with an employment law attorney and discuss the situation, your options, and your possible recourse in greater detail. Good luck.

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