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How To Spot Age Discrimination In A Severance Negotiation

May 14th, 2019 Victoria Breese

There has been an increasing trend of age discrimination cases in the workforce, and those over the age of 40 must be aware. Age discrimination occurs when an employer treats a job candidate or employee less favorably solely on the basis of his or her age. Age is a protected discrimination class just like race, religion, and sex. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) specifically outlaws age discrimination against people who are over the age of 40. Discrimination can still occur when both the victim and discriminator are over the age of 40. There are important steps you can take to spot age discrimination in your workplace and take action against it.

Older Workers Benefits Protection Act

The Older Workers Benefits Protection Act safeguards the rights of older workers. During any layoff involving someone over the age of 40, employers are legally required to disclose data regarding the total number of people over the age of 40 who were previously terminated. This data can be helpful in determining if age discrimination has taken place. Usually, this data will be disclosed at the end of a severance agreement. However, only a lawyer can interpret it and see if there is legal leverage for negotiating more severance. In addition to employment termination, discrimination laws prohibit discrimination in the form of hiring, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, benefits, and any other aspect of employment. Additionally, a company policy that applies to all employees, regardless of age, can still be age discrimination if it negatively affects employees age 40 or older.

Can Older Workers Be Replaced With Younger Ones?

Outside of a layoff or reduction in force, employees cannot be fired and replaced by younger employees if they have roughly the same qualifications and roughly the same pay. This kind of discrimination claim could only be defeated by compelling evidence of a legitimate business justification for firing an older worker. Employers can legally replace older workers if they can no longer perform their job requirements due to age. Unfortunately, because older workers are typically more experienced and more expensive, employers often terminate or lay them off in order to cut costs. However, if you can prove that you had roughly the same pay and qualifications as a younger replacement, you may have a legitimate age discrimination case. In order to determine the strength of your claim, you must speak with a lawyer.

Seek Legal Assistance Today

If you have experienced age discrimination in the workplace, seek legal assistance today. The Working Solutions Law Firm, located in New York City, can assist you. Contact us today at (646) 430-7930 to schedule a free case evaluation and receive experienced legal counsel.