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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 15743
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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I was just beat out supervisor position by 2 males that both

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I was just beat out for a supervisor position by 2 young white males that both have less than half the experience and qualifications that I have (I have 30 years experience and a BA degree and this is the 3rd time this has happened to me since I started at EMC 15 years ago. I am getting very angry about this. Do I have a case? Thank you, ***** *****
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 12 months ago.

Thank you for using JustAnswer.

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. You could have a case, either based on age or gender discrimination. First of all, you need to know that Iowa is an "at will" employment state. At-will employment means that without a contract, you have no contractual or other right to employment with the company. The company is entitled to fire you for any reason: a good reason, a poor reason, or no reason at all--as long as the company does not fire you for an illegal reason (race, gender, age, religion, etc...). But it extends beyond firing, to hiring, promotions, demotions, wage cuts and raises, disciplinary actions, and even scheduling. Unless you can show that this was done in violation of a contract, union agreement, or a clear violation of an unambiguous and binding clause against the employer, or that it was done because of some minority status (age, race, gender, religion, disability) that you have, then they do have this discretion.

In your case, you are covered by Title VII and the ADEA (Age Discrimination in Employment Act), meaning that you could, potentially, have a case and complaint against your employer. That being said, age discrimination cases are difficult to win. In order to show a prima facie case for age discrimination in reductions in force, you are going to have to show: (i) your were in a protected age class (check), (ii) you suffered an "adverse employment decision" (check), (iii) at the time of the adverse employment decision, you were performing your job at a level that met your employer's legitimate expectations (likely), and (iv) persons of your qualifications (or less) were retained or advanced in the same position or there was some other evidence that the employer did not treat age neutrally in deciding the adverse employment decision (more difficult).

In ADEA ("age discrimination") cases, the plaintiff must present evidence demonstrating a "reasonable probability" and not merely a "possibility" of age discrimination. First, a plaintiff can offer direct and circumstantial evidence that she would have been advanced but for her age; the evidence must be of sufficient probative force to support an inference of discrimination. Second, a plaintiff may use the McDonnell Douglas scheme of shifting burdens applied in Title VII cases. Under this scheme, once the plaintiff has established a prima facie case of age discrimination, the burden shifts to the employer to articulate a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for its employment decision. If the employer meets this burden, the plaintiff must then show that the employer's proffered reason was mere pretext and that age was the more likely reason for for the decision.

The Supreme Court has expressly held that an employer does not violate the ADEA "by acting on the basis of a factor, such as an employee's pension status or seniority [or salary], that is empirically correlated with age." Even though age is often related to factors such as salary, it is "analytically distinct" from them. For this reason, "an employer can take account of one while ignoring the other." Moreover, "[w]hen the employer's decision is wholly motivated by factors other than age, ... [e]ven if the motivating factor is correlated with age," that decision is not contrary to the ADEA. Accordingly, even if the company reduced the salary to reduce its costs (or even fired The employee simply to reduce its salary costs) this is not evidence of age discrimination.

So it's possible that you could get to court and the employer successfully argues that it didn't pick you because they could pay the 2 young white males less than they would have had to pay you. That would be legal (as it would be correlated with age but not because of your age). But if there's nothing else other than age (or gender, race, etc...) you might still have a valid complaint.

If you think that you have enough evidence to move forward and show that they used your gender or age as the deciding factor, contact your local EEOC office to file a complaint: http://www.eeoc.gov/field/. They would conduct an investigation to see if there's any significant evidence of discrimination, and if so, they'd issue a "right to sue" letter, which you could take to an attorney and sue your employer for discrimination. It's certainly not a sure thing, but I do think that it's a possibility.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it positively (3 or more stars). Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 12 months ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 12 months ago.

Was there anything else?

If there's nothing else, please rate this answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for the time and effort that I spent on this answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better) AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. If you feel that I have gone above and beyond in this answer (my average answer is about 10 minutes) bonuses are greatly appreciated. Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you!

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Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 12 months ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 11 months ago.

I see that you have not responded in some time. Please note that this question is still open until you rate it. I believe that I have answered your question, but if you have any other questions, please let me know.If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, ***** ***** good luck to you!

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 11 months ago.

Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?

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