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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19202
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I am a 58 year old female in a high level accounting position

Customer Question

I am a 58 year old female in a high level accounting position at a public company. My immediate supervisor (Chief Accounting Officer) recently hired his close friend from his previous company that was in my exact position. His friend supposedly is only going to do contract work (until she finds another job) but it's obvious he's trying to force me out so his friend can take my position. Our relationship has soured over this move because for obvious reasons I told him from the outset I was uncomfortable with this. I have never had a negative review and my work is highly complimented by all of my associates. What can I do legally if they try to force me out for some fraudulent reason? What can I do now legally to stand my ground?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Do you have an employment contract specifically stating that you can only be terminated for cause?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
No, there is no employment contract.
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Unfortunately, in employment law, when you do not have an employment contract which specifically states you are only subject to termination for cause, that means your employment is 'at will' and can legally be terminated at any time. So, in terms of having a legal basis to stand your ground, the facts that you've been there for a while and that you have no previous complaints against you are not going to be a basis for trying to fight any termination or demotion. Again, in an "at will' employment situation, they literally do not need a reason. Now, you mentioned you are 58 years old and that you are female. They are two protected classes, but that is only helpful if there is some evidence that your age or gender are the actual basis for any termination or other adverse employment action (meaning that those two facts, by themselves, don't do anything). You stated that you may be being replaced or pushed out for another female, so that cuts against the idea that it is gender based. You haven't mentioned that person's age, but you did state that this boss has a prior relationship with this lady, meaning that even if you were to allege age as the motivation here, the employer can simply state that their motivation was actually hiring someone that the CAO has a working relationship with previously. That would be a legitimate and non-discriminatory basis for replacing you. Regrettably, on just the facts you've presented here, you don't really have any legal basis to fight any adverse employment action. You'd need some external evidence of discrimination based on your age.