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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 12922
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I was employed with Retailer 25 years. My store closed and

Customer Question

I was employed with Retailer for over 25 years. My store closed and was place on severance pay. I called my District Manager about a position I found out was opening as a Store Director/Manager which my title was before being put on severance pay. I asked my District Manager if I had a chance of getting that Store and he replied "NO". I asked him, my I ask why, he stated that he wanted new talent and was promoting Assistant Manager to the position. Is this age discrimination? New vs Old talent?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for entrusting me to assist you. My name is ***** ***** I will do everything I can to answer your question.

Do you have any reason to believe that you were denied this position because of your age other than this comment about wanting new talent? Do you have any way of proving that the comment was made? How much younger than you is the assistant manager?

I very much look forward to helping you on this matter.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We had two stores closed and I was the only one who wanted the position, I'm 60 years old and the assistant is in his 40's. I do believe District Manager will state that he said new talent. I have received a bonus during my severance pay so being qualified is not a issue. I do believe it was my age and years with company because we always had new programs to implement on a day to day basis. I think the statement New vs old talent was a direct target at my age.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
this company has already been sued for age discrimination in the past
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you.

The problem I am seeing is that a statement about wanting "new talent" does not necessarily relate to age. "New" simply means "different," and that could be used to describe any candidate young or old. At least that's what your employer will likely argue, assuming they admit to even making this statement.

As a plaintiff alleging age discrimination, the burden of proof will fall on your shoulders. Ultimately you will need to convince a jury it is more likely than not that you would have been hired for this position if you were younger. That will be difficult to do based on this single comment and the fact the person they hired is younger, but it is not necessarily impossible. It would just be nice to have additional evidence.

The above noted, I certainly won't say "there is no claim" on facts of this nature. A complaint to the Department of Fair Employment & Housing would be your first step moving forward, and there is nothing to lose by filing, as the process is free and it is a pre-requisite to filing a lawsuit in civil court anyway. Perhaps the DFEH will uncover in the course of its investigation additional facts that make your case even stronger. Or perhaps they will be able to mediate a resolution between you and your employer which resolves this matter by way of out-of-court settlement. You should just be mindful that the battle you face is uphill if there does not turn out to be additional evidence of age discrimination. This should be factored into your approach toward settlement and litigation.

I hope that you find this information helpful. Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding the above and I will be more than happy to assist you further.

If you do not require any further assistance, please be so kind as to provide a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you. Very best wishes moving forward.