What can be done if my husband is being squeezed out of his job?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can be done if my husband is being squeezed out of his job?

He has worked 11 years at this place and they promised if he helped the bosses son learn the ropes they would take good care of him. He’s been managing programmers for years. He just got demoted financially by 50% and is still expected to answer the phone 24/7 and weekends and perform managerial duties. They offered to pay for his time off while he had cancer and treatment and yet after that they treated him like crap. They fired 3 or 4 other men there that are at the retirement age range that they call

Asked on April 25, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

A "promise" is not legally binding unless it was in an actual written contract, so unfortunately, the employer's promise to take care of him is not enforceable. Generally, since employment in this country is "employment at will," except and only to the extent there is a written contract to the contrary, an employer can demote, cut pay of, increase the duties of, etc. an employee at will.
However, there are some exceptions, and one is that an employer may not discriminate against employees age 40 or older. If you husband is 40 or more, as your question implies, and if it is not just him, but also other "old timers" who are being discriminated against, that may well be illegal age-based discrimination (the fact they are doing it to more than a single person implies that age is the reason, or at least part of the reason, and not performance); if so, your husband may be entitled to compensation. Your husband should contact the federal EEOC or your state's equal/civil rights agency to discuss this matter and possibly file a complaint.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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