If I was laid off my job one year before my retirement, do I have any recourse to get my benefits?

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If I was laid off my job one year before my retirement, do I have any recourse to get my benefits?

Asked on January 23, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Georgia

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

First, whatever are the terms of you company's retirement or benefit plan(s) are enforceable--so if you should, for example, be partially vested, that is enforceable.

Second, if you can show that you were laid off because you are (presumably) over 40, that may be illegal age-based discrimination. An employer may terminate older employees, but NOT because of their age--i.e. due to downsizing, restructuring, performance, policy violations, etc. If it appears from all the circumstances that they laid you off simply because you are older (and therefore they could save on paying your benefits/retirement), that might be illegal. If  you think this could be the case, it would be well worth your time to speak with an employment law attorney to evaluate your options and recourse.


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