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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 being off after 15 years with this company. I am 76

Customer Question

I am being laid off after 15 years with this company. I am 76 years old , the oldest employee. I was told I am just too expensive.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what recourse do I have?
Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for trusting your question to JA today. I am a licensed attorney with over a decade of law practice and nearly 20 years of experience in the legal field. I’m happy to be of assistance.

The difficulty in these types of cases is that in many instances, the older employees are the most expensive due to their salary increases through the years.

In employment law, if you do not have an employment contract that expressly states that you can only be terminated for cause, your employment is "at will." That means that you can legally be terminated at any time, with or without cause or warning. What the employer CAN'T do though is terminate someone for a reason made illegal by statute. Among those reasons are race, religion, gender, age, disability or FMLA (medical leave) use.

Now, if you can allege that age was the reason you were separated, you can file a complaint with the EEOC to have them investigate the matter further and preserve your right to sue. The problem though is that terminating someone for financial reasons isn't illegal. Terminating someone ONLY because they are older is illegal. So which is the actual reason here by the employer? That can be difficult to determine and, if you end up having to sue, it is your burden to prove that their basis for termination was solely your age and not for the economic gain of releasing the most highly compensated employee.

The EEOC can certainly help uncover evidence that would support the position that age really was the factor here. If they replace you with someone younger, but pay the same amount (or substantially the same). If you weren't the highest paid. If there are comments about them wanting to have a more "dynamic" team. These are all things that could be discovered by the EEOC to solidify your claim.

If you feel age was the factor here, contact the EEOC.

If you have any further questions, please let me know. I invite follow up questions, so use REPLY for those. If you have no further questions then good luck going forward and please do not forget to rate my service with a top-three rating so that I receive credit for working with you today. Also, feel free to request me in the future, if you have questions concerning a different matter.

Expert:  Allen M., Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and make sure that there was not any additional information that you required.

If you need further assistance, please use REPLY and ask me for any additional information you may need. If not, take care and have a great day.