Should I persue this?

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Should I persue this?

I work for a large retailer who is currently restructuring the company. It was recently announced that we are going from 21 regions to 20. I am a regional visual manager. I was called and told that of the 21 regional managers I was the one that didn’t make the cut. I have worked for the company for 32 years and at the age of 61 I am also the oldest of the regional managers. In all my years with the company I have never had a bad annual review or been counseled for poor performance.

Asked on January 21, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your age suggests that age--and/or your salary if it is age related (e.g. if due to seniority/longevity, which is a function in large part of being older, you are paid more)--*may* have played a role in your termination. But it's not enough by itself to prove that--despite the lack of bad reviews or performance counseling, their could be perfectly valid reasons for this, such as if your performance, while adequate (not bad) is weaker than your colleagues, or the way the territories are being divided, it makes sense to dissolve yours into others, and hence you are the logical one to go, or the others have relationships with valuable vendors or customers, or the others have  degrees or certifications you lack, etc. 
What you should do, given the fact that your age creates an initial presumption that age discrimination was involved (terminating the oldest) is to contact the federal EEOC to file a complaint. If the EEOC deems there to be something to the complaint, they can investigate; if they investigate, the company then has the chance to articulate and support (e.g. show proof or evidence for) a non-discriminatory reason for the action. If they can do so, there will not be a viable claim; but if they can't, so that age is left as the only or main explanation, you may be entitled to compensation. Good luck.


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