Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and over 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.
Employers are not legally required to accept restrictions when a person returns to work. They can have that person remain out until they meet the job requirements. Now, you stated that others had been allowed to return with restrictions and that certainly calls into question the reason the employer did so here. You mentioned two conflicting ideas though.
The first was age. If the employer here was motivated to release you simply because of your age, that is illegal and you can file an EEOC complaint in your state to have the matter preserved for suit and investigated more closely.
The second though was your salary. You stated that you felt you made too much money by then, which would another potential motivation to let you go and treat you differently. However, unlike age, releasing someone based on their salary isn't illegal. It is actually a legitimate business decision.
That presents an issue here. If you allege age discrimination and mention the wage issue to the EEOC, you've basically given the employer their legal defense. They will present the wage issue as their main motivation, which is a legitimate, non-discriminatory basis for their decision. That would undermine your age discrimination allegation.
If you feel strongly that your age was a deciding factor here, then file the EEOC complaint and mention only that.
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