Right to terminate a person that is 77 years old

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Right to terminate a person that is 77 years old

I manage senior citizen high rises. We are inspected by the U.S. Dept of HUD for health, safety and maintenance of our properties. The last two inspections we scored very low. Our maintenance man has been with the company for many years and is 77 years old. He is not able to keep up with the requirements. Can I terminate his employment based on the inspection scores without risk of legal action because of his age?

Asked on April 4, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes, as long as you can show that the termination is due to documented poor performance (e.g. the inspection scores), you should be able to terminate him safely. The anti-discrimination laws prevent you from firing someone because they are elderly (over 40), but do not prevent terminations for reasons having nothing to do with age. You just want, in the event he tries to bring some discrimination claim, to be able to prove the work or performance issues.

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