Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
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Do you have any reason to believe that you were denied this position because of your age other than this comment about wanting new talent? Do you have any way of proving that the comment was made? How much younger than you is the assistant manager?
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The problem I am seeing is that a statement about wanting "new talent" does not necessarily relate to age. "New" simply means "different," and that could be used to describe any candidate young or old. At least that's what your employer will likely argue, assuming they admit to even making this statement.
As a plaintiff alleging age discrimination, the burden of proof will fall on your shoulders. Ultimately you will need to convince a jury it is more likely than not that you would have been hired for this position if you were younger. That will be difficult to do based on this single comment and the fact the person they hired is younger, but it is not necessarily impossible. It would just be nice to have additional evidence.
The above noted, I certainly won't say "there is no claim" on facts of this nature. A complaint to the Department of Fair Employment & Housing would be your first step moving forward, and there is nothing to lose by filing, as the process is free and it is a pre-requisite to filing a lawsuit in civil court anyway. Perhaps the DFEH will uncover in the course of its investigation additional facts that make your case even stronger. Or perhaps they will be able to mediate a resolution between you and your employer which resolves this matter by way of out-of-court settlement. You should just be mindful that the battle you face is uphill if there does not turn out to be additional evidence of age discrimination. This should be factored into your approach toward settlement and litigation.
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