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John, Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 4468
Experience:  Exclusively practice labor and employment law.
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Can I ask a 68 year old employee to retire in Virginia

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Can I ask a 68 year old employee to retire in Virginia
Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. The general answer to your question is no. Virginia and federal laws protect employees from termination or forced retiement based on their age. These laws cover employers with as few as 6 employees.

There is such a thing as mandatory retirement age, which employers may legally implement provided: (1) the age limit is reasonably necessary to the essence of the business, and either (2) that all or substantially all individuals excluded from the job involved are in fact disqualified, or (3) that some of the individuals so excluded possess a disqualifying trait that cannot be ascertained except by reference to age.

However, in your case you appear to want to terminate a single employee who is in the protected age group. It's not to say that you are barred from terminating the employee. You just would have to terminate the employee for a reasonable factor other than age. This basically means that the reason for termination cannot be age, but also cannot be something that is so intertwined with age as it cannot be separated. For example if you could cite to legitimate production deficiencies or other performance measures, then it may be possible to lawfully terminate the employee.

I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – select the Reply to Expert or Continue Conversation button. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wish you all the best with this matter.

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