Best Ohio Age Discrimination Attorney Answer: What should I do if my employer is trying to force me to retire? What should I do if my boss threatens to eliminate my job because I’m old? If my employer eliminates my job, can I sue for wrongful termination?
Both federal law, under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and Ohio law, under Ohio Revised Code § 4112.02(N), § 4112.05 and § 4112.14 protect an employee from being discriminated against, retaliated against, or wrongfully terminated based on his or her age. But what about when an employer tries to be clever and rather than terminating you, says that it is simply “eliminating your job”? Even in such cases, you may have a cause of action for age discrimination.
Indeed, recently, Jefferson Community College settled a lawsuit brought by a former administrator who claimed that she was forced to resign from her position based on age discrimination. The employee in question, Miller, had gone through several position changes during her career, but it was not until about 2007 that she started to notice discriminatory treatment towards her by JCC. In 2009, after accepting a transfer to another position a few years earlier, Miller received the first bad employment review of her career and was given a performance improvement plan. Within the next six months, Miller’s position was again changed by JCC, this time to a “newly created position” of Executive Director. Miller complained around this same time that this “new position” was simply a way for JCC to try to get rid of her. Specifically, according to Miller, she was put in an office that “was nothing more than a former closet” that was “water-damaged.” This triggered Miller to have asthma attacks.
In truth, Miller’s claims were accurate because JCC, in April, 2010 informed Miller that it was eliminated her position due to the school’s budget constraints. So essentially, instead of just firing Milller, JCC created a position that it could put Miller in that made her want to quit, which, in their mind, would avoid an age discrimination claim. And, then, if that did not work, they could eliminate the concocted position in a sham reduction in force.
Knowing that a separation of employment was imminent, Miller preemptively resigned from her employment so that she could maintain her retirement benefits that would have been lost had her employment ended due to a job elimination.
In her suit that followed, Miller alleged that earlier in her career, she was promoted and always received favorable reviews; however, that sentiment changed as she grew older and after she began to complain about unfair differential treatment towards younger employees.
Ultimately, the legal issues in this case were not ruled upon nor did a jury decide over the facts. Instead, JCC agreed to a settlement with Miller, thus ending the case. The settlement amount was not reported.
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 instead of someone younger or were 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.”
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