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The Pennsylvania Human Relations Act (PHRA), which applies to all Pennsylvania employers employing four or more employees, extends protections to workers 40 years of age or older, making it generally unlawful for an employer with 20 or more employees “to limit, segregate, or classify his employees in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee because of such individual’s age….”
Age discrimination claims are not subject to the same strict scrutiny of cases of alleged discrimination of racial, religious and ethnic claims. This is because, unlike race and other classifications protected by Title VII (protecting race, religion, ethnic claims), age sometimes is relevant to a worker’s ability to perform some jobs.
My age is relevant to my ability to perform my job. What kind of documentation would I need to give an attorney to back up accusing my employer of age discrimination?
The issue is this
There was a U.S. Supreme Court case that said
That because sometimes age DOES affect the ability to do some jobs, employers can cite any number of “reasonable” factors – ranging from diminishing job performance to salary and cost-cutting measures – as adequate explanations for practices that inadvertently penalize older workers, so long as those practices are not unreasonable, and therefore merely a pretext for age discrimination. .
So if your age DOES relate to your job performance, then the employers may be able to nevertheless state concerns about it.
That case, fyi, is: Smith v. City of Jackson, Mississippi,XXXXX 1536 (2005
Actually, I meant the opposite....my age enhances my ability to do my job (experience, training). What's confusing is that my performance is superior per performance reviews and client as well as management feedback. Salary is not an issue. I am only paid $25 and hour with a master's degree and no benefits. Cost-cutting is also not an issue. The company advertises my services as "premier" on their website and brochures meaning I have advanced training to treat "high risk" clients. I work in a drug and alcohol in-patient rehab facility but I am not in recovery.
The real issue is that the new executive director wants to bring in "his people" and he tends to be paranoid because he has some questionable behaviors. 4 counselors (out of 10) have quit this month alone--10 have quite since January due to his leadership style. He has left me alone until last week now I seem to be on his "radar".
To do: Take notes of related conversations or events or happenings (specifics: time, date, witnesses) and what was said relevant to the issue. Gather documents that support your claim (copies of the website showing your services are premier), pamphlets, policies, letters, performance reviews, handbooks, etc. Ask co-workers if they remember relevant facts if you think they would be willing to help you.
Make sure not to take any documents you don't have legal access to.
Thank you. What sort of conversations would be "relevent".
Those that relate to your superior knowledge/performance.
Those that relate to others getting more money or promotions over you when they aren't related as superior/permier.
Reviews of you (good ones)
That will be easy....should I document feedback from patients...co-workers...or just management.
Management is the most important.
I am very good at what I do (trauma and PTSD treatment) and I really help patients....at least 2x a week I am asked for my card to see them privately which I cannot due to company policy (conflict of interest)....that is why the executive director's attitude is so confusing....nothing he does is based on the employee's performane...it makes no sense.
It does sound like you're quite qualified.
I hope things work out for you.
thank you. Can you think of anything else I should be doing.....documenting my work day, etc.?
That's it - you need to show that your performance is good, that management is pleased, and you're still being discriminated against (and that the employers aren't going to claim it is for some other seemingly valid reason).
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