It Is Illegal, But What Qualifies As Age Discrimination?
Age discrimination is never obvious. We have never once had a client who came into our office and relayed that the boss admitted that the client was fired because he or she was too old. Companies know that age discrimination is illegal, and most companies teach their management teams to avoid making ageist comments.
However, judges and juries recognize that sometimes age discrimination is couched in ambiguous terms. For example, asking an employee why they don’t want to spend more time with the grandchildren can certainly support the inference that the employer thinks the employee may be too old. Another common example are “jokes” that the employee will never improve their golf handicap if the employee doesn’t step down from a full-time to a part-time position. And yet another example is a company’s claim that it needs “new blood and new energy,” which can also be regarded as euphemisms for ageist comments.
Age discrimination cases can be difficult to prove. After all, a company certainly has the right to terminate long-term, highly compensated employees and to replace these employees with less expensive employees. Thus, companies often defend allegations of age discrimination by claiming that the company eliminated older employees as a cost-savings measure, which is legal.
Davis & Davis, P.C., obtained a $212,000 judgment in the Massachusetts Superior Court a couple of years ago. The client was employed at a restaurant and had a history of solid work performance. The owners of the restaurant decided that the restaurant needed a ‘new, younger, hipper’ image, and part of the make-over was the termination of our client. The restaurant’s decision was not based upon legitimate business decisions; rather, the restaurant’s termination decision was rooted in unfair and unlawful stereotypes about older employees. Over the years, our law firm has secured well over $1 million for clients with age discrimination claims.
Do You Have A Claim? John Davis And His Team Can Help.
The first step to consider is whether you can satisfy four criteria: (1) Are you over the age of 40? (2) Have you been performing your job at a satisfactory or better than satisfactory level? (3) Have you been fired, demoted or subjected to other unfair decisions? And (4) Have you been replaced by someone younger, or have your job duties been delegated to younger employees?
If you answered “yes” to each of these questions, or you have questions of your own, give Davis & Davis, P.C., a call at 978-276-9051 or email us.