Is it legal to terminate me from my job because of my age?

Asked on Jul 27th, 2011 on Labor and Employment - Indiana
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Having worked for the same large company for 36 yrs, my job is being eliminated 2 months before I turn 55 and I will be let go from my job due to an organizational transition. Won't be eligible for retirement and won't be allowed to enroll in 2012 and beyond health benefits typically offered to retirees. I can't eat, sleep, or think clearly. What are my options?
Answered on Jul 29th, 2011 at 11:14 AM
It is illegal to terminate you because of your age (55). However, in order to have a case you will have to prove that your age was the motivating factor of your termination, and that the employer did not have a legitimate business reason to terminate you.

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Answered on Jul 28th, 2011 at 2:02 PM
It is illegal for an employer to consider a person's age (if they are 40 or older) when it makes an employment decision, including a layoff decision. Some of the questions that need to be answered include the following: 1. If other people also are being let go in the organizational transition, what are their ages - i.e., are they also older than 40? 2. What are the ages of the people making the decision? 3. Whether others are being let go or not, what are the ages of those who are remaining? 4. How did the employer decide your job should be eliminated and not someone else's did it rank employees, simply eliminate your job because it would be combined with someone else's, etc.? In this sort of situation, there unfortunately is not a simple answer to your question. You certainly should consult with an attorney in order to determine whether there is reason to believe your age was considered, especially if you are being offered severance in exchange for signing a release (which would include your agreement not to bring legal action).

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Answered on Jul 28th, 2011 at 12:53 PM
Yes, if your former employer is covered under the federal and state age discrimination laws. Contact the federal EEOC for a more specific response to your age inquiry.

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