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socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 35038
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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After 15 years of being employed by the same company I was

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After 15 years of being employed by the same company I was recently forced to move to a different position. Customer Service that I don't know anything about. I did not get proper training and my manager keeps telling me that a person with my age will be respected more by the customers because most of our employees are under the age of 25 and they are not taken serious. At times I feel so overwhelmed with the expactation that she wants me to deliver to customers because I wasn't properly trained. I am 61 years old and feel that management is trying to push me out. My job is causing so much stress that I am ready to quit. Can you provide any advice to this mater?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.

What did you do before being reassigned?

Was your previousl position replaced by a person substantially younger than you?

If yes, then approximately what is the age of your replacement?

How long ago were you switched out of your old position?

Has anyone else been similarly reassigned, who is in the same general age group as you?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Before being reassigned I worked in the backroom managing the inventory. Receiving, doing weekly audits, ordering supplies, making schedules and anything that managers did not have time to do.

Previous position was replaced by 5 techs taking turns. I was told by management to train them all a couple of months ago. Yes they are all under 30 years old.

I was switched about 3 weeks ago to the new position.

No one else has been reassigned. There is no one in the same age group as me. There are approx 30 employees and all are under 35 years old.


Expert:  socrateaser replied 3 years ago.
I assume that there was no promotion (mo money, supervisory position) associated with this change.

I can see how this could be equated to age discrimination, first because you were replaced by much younger personnel, you don't have any experience in your new role, the employer's rationale about you being more respected is extremely weak (no one knows who they're talking to on the phone, and there's no statistical evidence that an older customer service rep gets more done in less time.

All of which adds up to your being transferred as a pretext for "managing you out" of the organization, due to your failing to perform, when in fact, the reason is that the employer doesn't want an older worker who is more risky for all sorts of reasons (health care, salary, etc.).

The weak part in your case is that there doesn't seem to be any overt "adverse employment action." Age discrimination requires that you suffer some injury (less pay, worse schedule, demotion from management, bad performance review, etc.). It's not clear to me that you are really suffering a substantial injury as a consequence of the transfer.

You might want to consider asking your supervisor to return you to your former job and tell him/her that you feel as though this entire move has been designed to encourage you to quit, and see how management reacts to your suggestion.

Maybe they will rethink their position -- or, maybe they will do something stupid that will make your case more clear.

Usually, I think it's a waste of time to talk to HR, because they're in business to help the employer -- not the empoloyee. But, in this case, with things sort of vague, shaking the tree may actually be a way to shake something loose -- or, maybe even resolve the problem.

Hope this helps.

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socrateaser, Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 35038
Experience: Retired (mostly)
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