Best Age Discrimination Attorney Answer: Can I bring a discrimination claim if I am fired because of my age? Is it a wrongful termination if my boss tells me I’m too old to keep working? At what age do age discrimination laws start? How do I find an age discrimination lawyer?
Many people do not realize that age is a protected class under Ohio and Federal law. Ohio law makes age discrimination unlawful in three different places, R.C. § 4112.02(N), R.C. § 4112.05, an R.C. § 4112.14. At the same time, age discrimination is unlawful under federal law pursuant to the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”). Just like an employer cannot take an adverse action against an employee because of the employee’s race, gender, or national origin, an employer also cannot take an adverse action against an employee because of the employee’s age. A recent case demonstrates that there may be severe repercussions for employers who discriminate based on age.
Bobby Nickel was 66 years old and working for Staples in California. For nine years, Bobby got good performance reviews, but then everything changed. Bobby states in his complaint that he was often called names because of his age, such as “old goat” and “old coot.” Bobby also states that his manager tried to get him to resign. Management told him that Staples was trying to clear out the older, higher paid employees. When Bobby refused, Staples started working on pushing him out. Bobby was subjected to disciplinary actions that his younger counterparts were not similarly subjected to. Indeed, he was suspended for allegedly taking a 68 cent bell pepper from the cafeteria (although he probably could have eaten it in the cafeteria). There were several false accusations. When that was not enough, the boss tried to get a receptionist to write out a lie about Bobby, but she refused and told him. Our employment attorneys call this an attempt at constructive discharge, which means trying to force an employee to quit.
When he would not cave to the pressure, Bobby was eventually flat out fired and brought a age discrimination and wrongful termination lawsuit against Staples for age discrimination. Bobby was awarded an amount that was unprecedented in Los Angeles – $26.1 million. Most of the award – $22 million – was punitive damages. The punitive damages for the age discrimination claim was probably in large part that Staples continued to deny any wrong doing whatsoever – all the way through closing argument at trial.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind when bringing an age discrimination claim. The age at which one becomes a member of the protected class is 40. Anyone over 40 is protected from discrimination under the law. Also, age discrimination claims have very short statutes of limitations compared to other discrimination claims. An employee only has 180 days after the discriminatory act to bring the claim. This means a discriminated against employee must act fast.
If you are an employee over the age of 40 years old and believe that you are being discriminated because you are older than other employees; or have be wrongfully terminated or fired and replaced with some younger than you, you may have an age discrimination claim under Ohio law or the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). Even if you are not sure about your age discrimination claim, you should call the right attorney as quickly as possible to schedule a free and confidential consultation at 866-797-6040. Age discrimination claims have very short statute of limitations, which means that you only have a very short amount of time to figure out if you have an age discrimination claim and take action. It is unlawful for employers to treat older employees differently. At the free initial consultation, you can tell us the specifics about how “my boss did …” or what happened on “my job.”
The materials available at the top of the age discrimination blog page and on this employment law website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. If you are still asking “What should I do …”, “I’m being discriminated against …”, or “How do I …”, your best option is to contact an Ohio attorney to obtain advice with respect to any age discrimination claim questions or any particular employment law issue that you may have. Use and access to this employment law website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship for your employment law needs. The legal opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual lawyer and may not reflect the opinions of Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, Brian Spitz, or any individual attorney.