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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 19169
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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I am 75 and a still very productive 18-year employee of a

Customer Question

I am 75 and a still very productive 18-year employee of a small private non-profit in NJ. Since reaching retirement age I have gone from FT to PT by choice. Immediately following a recent change in executive management, I lost my private office and have been told to see my clients (I am a job search counselor/resume writer) in the corner of small conference room with no desk, no file cabinet, no printer and no phone. At the same time, my co-counselors' office spaces are being upgraded. It is a terribly uncomfortable and humiliating experience. When I wondered to a friend why management doesn't just terminate me under NJ's employment-at-will status, she said doing so would be age discrimination for which my employer could be sued. What do you suggest?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Your friend is correct that there could certainly be a claim against the employer under the ADEA (if the employer has at least 20 employees) or your state's statute, which has no minimum number of employees to be applicable.

I think the one concern you'd have here though is that you also moved to part time by your own choice. If the other individuals are not part time, then the employer can allege a "legitimate, non-discriminatory basis" for the differing treatment. However, if there are other part time individuals in that same job that are not experiencing the same treatment, then you're claim would be very strong.

It would be worth your time to make a complaint to your HR department, alleging what you believe to be age discrimination and then force them to either correct the behavior or put down on paper what their reason is for the treatment. That helps to set up the next step, which is to complain to your state level human rights commission or the EEOC (if they have at least 20 employees) to have the matter investigated by the outside agency, thereby preserving your right to sue.