What can I do regarding wrongful termination due t age discrimination?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What can I do regarding wrongful termination due t age discrimination?

The owner who I reported directly too was terminated at the beginning of the month; the other owner sent an e-mail that we were guaranteed our jobs. However, I was terminated because they stated that they were downsizing. They kept my 2 employees, I of whom does not have her GED and was my assistant and the other who has only worked for me for 6 months as the Asst. Scheduling Manager. Both of them are younger than me. I will be 50 this year and have been with company for 6 years. They offered me a 10 week severance and want me to sign a non-compete and non-disclosure. So where was the downsizing? They made of the them equals also. Should I retain a lawyer?

Asked on June 22, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If by "they made one of them equals also," you mean that one of the younger employees retained in your stead was promoted to your former position, then this may well be an age discrimination case: to terminate an older (and, based on what you write, better-qualified employee) while promoting a younger (and less-well-qualified) person to her position certainly appears on its face to be an age-based employment action, which is illegal. In this case, you should contact the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to file a complaint.
But if they not only terminated you but eliminated your position, keeping only more junior positions, this was likely legal: an employer may legally decide to eliminate a more-senior position if it feels it does not need it anymore, even if that means eliminating the job of an over-40-years-old employee.

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