Employment discrimination should not be tolerated under any circumstances, but there are certain forms of discrimination that are more nebulous and difficult to prove than others are. Age discrimination at work is one such example; sometimes older workers are indeed wrongfully terminated due to their age, but factors such as changes in an industry or a necessary shift in a job’s responsibilities may prompt an employer to fire an older employee who cannot adapt to these developments. In the video below, attorney Andrew P. Fleming explains how those who believe that they were fired due to age discrimination can argue their cases.
Age Discrimination at Work
Age discrimination at work is fairly common, and it is difficult to prove. Today’s statutes, and the courts that have interpreted the statutes, make it harder to prove age discrimination than it was in the past. It is also harder to argue those cases in front of a jury. For age discrimination claims, as with most discrimination claims, it is extremely helpful to have “smoking gun” evidence of age discrimination.
A 51-year-old who has been replaced by a 28-year-old does not automatically have a claim. The employer’s defense may be that the job description changed. By making these claims, the employer is raising a factual distinction as to why the job is not the same job as it was before.
It certainly helps to have some sort of memorandum, email, or even conversation in which someone is making pointed, ageist comments. “Boy, Bill, when are you going to retire?” and “Boy, Jane, aren’t you getting a little old for all this driving?” are smoking guns. Having something to work with certainly helps with age discrimination claims; not everyone who is over the age of 40 and eligible under the law has an automatic claim when he or she is let go.
If you have questions about age discrimination at work, please contact our experienced Buffalo workplace discrimination lawyers for dedicated representation.
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