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Barrister
Barrister, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 36982
Experience:  16 years practicing attorney
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I am 62 on 10/29, employed 20 years no negatives, great

Customer Question

I am 62 on 10/29, employed 20 years no negatives, great letters of recommendation, layed off, person taking my place no experience lesser pay. Is this conisered wrongful termination?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

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Unless you are a governmental employee or are under an employment contract, employment in TX is considered "at will". What this means is that an employee can quit or an employer can fire or change the terms of employment (change hours, location, duties, pay, etc.) at any time for any or no reason at all. To have a wrongful termination case you have to relate your treatment to unlawful discrimination. Absent a written agreement to the contrary, an employee can be treated differently or discriminated against for any reason, as long as the reason is not prohibited by law.
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The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states that a person can only be legally considered to have been discriminated against for employment if it is on the basis of race, religion, national origin, physical disability, gender, or age. Although federal laws protect people from workplace discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, religion, sex, age, and disability, there is no federal law that specifically outlaws workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the private sector. (Federal government workers are protected from such discrimination.) Attempts to pass federal legislation that would outlaw sexual orientation discrimination in private workplaces have been unsuccessful to date, although more members of Congress support such a bill each year. State laws may specifically prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation though.

· the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which protects individuals who are 40 years of age or older;

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So you would have to tie your treatment to an unlawful reason, such as your age in order to be able to maintain a claim for discrimination. If you think that your treatment was based on one of these protected areas you may have an actionable claim against your employer.
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To make a claim against your employer, you must file a "charge of discrimination" with the EEOC. The charge must be filed by mail or in person with a local EEOC office within 180 days from the date of the alleged violation.

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The EEOC will investigate the complaint and if they determine a violation has occurred, they will issue a "right to sue" letter that basically says that they have found probable cause to believe that you have been discriminated against. Then you can contact an employment law attorney about filing suit against the company if they do not address it and remedy the problem.

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The problem here is that the employer will likely claim that it is not age related, but rather a cost savings action, which is legal for them to terminate higher paid workers and hire lower paid ones. Coincidentally (but not really) it is the older more experienced workers who tend to have the higher pay and benefits, so the company claims cost savings as the reason for engaging in subtly camouflaged illegal age discrimination.

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But the EEOC will investigate and see if they can establish a pattern or the employer terminating or laying off only older workers and if they can show a course of action proving this, then you would have an actionable claim.

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thanks

Barrister