Have a general question about employment law? Want to share a story? I welcome all comments and questions. I can't give legal advice here about specific situations but will be glad to discuss general issues and try to point you in the right direction. If you need legal advice, contact an employment lawyer in your state. Remember, anything you post here will be seen publicly, and I will comment publicly on it. It will not be confidential. Govern yourself accordingly. If you want to communicate with me confidentially as Donna Ballman, Florida lawyer rather than as Donna Ballman, blogger, my firm's website is here.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Am I Being Targeted For Layoff Due To My Age?

An AOL Jobs reader asked me:
I work for a large company in Ohio. There are 50 or so employees with my job title working at various locations in the area. The company has decided to eliminate all but 15 of those positions. I am 61 years old. The company first examined our work history, anyone with disciplinary actions were eliminated from the pool. We were informed some positions had been filled and yesterday "group interviews" were conducted. The union negotiated a severance package, one week pay for each year served, the company will continue to pay benefits for three months and they will not contest unemployment benefits. I have been informed by my department head they may offer a lesser paying position if I am not among those chosen. There are 3 people with my title at my store. Should I be permitted to choose between a lesser paying job and the severance package? After the severance package, unemployment, perhaps SSI disability, can I simply accept early retirement? What other options do I have?
Older employees, along with the disabled and pregnant employees, are the most targeted employees in layoffs. There seems to be an assumption that the "old guys" will be retiring soon anyhow so it doesn't matter. It does. Targeting older employees is illegal.

How do you figure out whether you were selected due to your age? My latest article at AOL Jobs tells you what you should consider and when to contact a lawyer.

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I appreciate your comments and general questions but this isn't the place to ask confidential legal questions. If you need an employee-side employment lawyer, try http://exchange.nela.org/findalawyer to locate one in your state.