Laid off while others in same position were not

56 year old male, 20 year employee in mgmnt position. Have had melanoma (surgery 3 years ago) and have to be monitored every 3 months. Plus just had kidney stone "blasted". Example is recent hire (one year) did not lose job plus has not put in a full week in the year employed (documented). Want to know if I have a case to proceed with wrongful temination based on age & health conditions as no other mgr level got terminated.

3 answers  |  asked Mar 16, 2011 6:21 PM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (3)

Phyllis Towzey
The fact that you were selected for lay off while a newly hired employee, presumably in the same position as you, was not raises serious questions given your age and medical history. A potential problem, however, is that courts have held that it is not discriminatory for an employer to made downsizing selections based on salary -- and unfortunately the older the employee is with more seniority in the company, the more likely it is that that employee is at the top of the salary range. Accordingly, sometimes a younger, newly hired employee is retained while a more seasoned employee is let go, and cost-savings in compensation is the deciding factor.

I strongly advise you to consult an employment attorney. If you have an age discrimination claim, there are deadlines for filing with the EEOC and the Florida Commission on Human Relations, so you should not delay in seeking advice about your legal rights. Also, if the company has offered you severance in exchange for signing a release of claims, you need to consult an attorney BEFORE you sign the document.

posted by Phyllis Towzey  |  Mar 17, 2011 07:39 AM [EST]
Jeanne M. Valentine
I very much agree with Attorney Pastor. I'd also suggest you to consider whether there was any reason they would have to terminate you, such as diciplinary or performance issues. If the employer had a legitimate reason to terminate you, then your burden to prove discrimination becomes even harder. You have a better case if you can point to conversations or comments made about your age or health issues by anyone with influence over who to terminate, or if the termination was in response to a request for medical leave. Lots of questions unanswered....but you have enough circumstances that I too think you should contact a lawyer to discuss it further.

Good luck!

Jeannie Valentine

posted by Jeanne M. Valentine  |  Mar 16, 2011 7:03 PM [EST]
Patricia Pastor
Your post does not contain sufficient information to determine whether you have a valid cause of action for wrongful termination based on age or disability. Questions that require an answer include the following: Has your employer retained management employees in your age bracket? What was the reason your employer offered for terminating your employment? Was it due to economic issues? Has the employer lost business?

In order to prove age or disability discrimination, a plaintiff must show some evidence that the discharge was directly related to your protected category (age, disability).

You should contact an employment lawyer for a consultation.

posted by Patricia Pastor  |  Mar 16, 2011 6:47 PM [EST]

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