Best Ohio Age Discrimination Attorney Answer: Can policy be changed to allow just younger employees to fill a position? Can I be forced out of my job because I’m over 50? Can I sue for wrongful termination if I was fired today due to my age?
The Spitz Law Blog doesn’t have a category for “stupid employers who think they are smarter than everyone else”, “why don’t they ever learn?”, or “did you really think that you would get away with that?” Because, really, such topic would cover most all of our blogs from our employment discrimination attorneys.
However, an issue that our employment discrimination lawyers do blog about regularly is age discrimination and the forms and manners in which it can affect employees. (See Can I Sue For Age Discrimination? – Call The Right Attorney; My Employer Will Not Promote Me Because of My Age; My Boss Said I am Too Old To Keep Working; Can My Employer Force Me To Retire At 65?; I Didn’t A Promotion Because I’m “Old”! – Call The Right Attorney; and Where, When And How Do I File My Age Discrimination Claim?).
As our employment discrimination lawyers have discussed, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA“) makes it unlawful for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s age. Ohio state laws R.C. § 4112.02(N), R.C. § 4112.05, and R.C. § 4112.14 also protect employees from being discriminated against on the basis of age.
At the intersection of “why don’t they learn?” and age discrimination is the matter of Corley v. County of San Bernardino. George Corley was a division chief for the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District. At the time in question, Mr. Corley was 58 years old and had been serving as a fireman for nearly 40 years with 24 years experience as a chief officer. Corley had a nearly spotless performance record and had been awarded for bravery by U.S. congressional representative Jeremy Lewis.
In 2011, Corley’s supervisor, the county Fire Chief, was replaced with Mark Hartig. Hartig had declared his intention to reduce costs by slashing staff. Immediately after being named Fire Chief, Hartig eliminated a policy requiring firefighters to first serve as battalion chief for two years before qualifying for promotion to division chief. That enabled captains to skip the previous time spent as battalion chief go straight division chief. This also had the intended effect of making younger, less expensive applicants suddenly qualified for the position of division chief.
Suddenly, and for the first time ever, Corley started receiving poor performance evaluations. Shortly thereafter, Corley was terminated citing “incompatible management style” as the reason for his termination. Hartwig then turned around and promoted one of the younger, less expensive, and less qualified individuals, whom he had just made qualified for promotion by way of his previously mentioned policy change.
Corley filed a wrongful termination and age discrimination claim. The city fought it all the way through. The boss thought that he could simply change the rules and then plead that he was just playing by the rules. The employer thought the jury would see it their way. Well, it must have sounded brilliant in his head at the time. Not, so much now. So, by now you’ve realized that Hartwig fits category for “stupid employers who think they are smarter than everyone else.”
The jury didn’t buy any of it. It took the jury less than one day to find age discrimination and return a verdict in favor of Corley in excess of $700,000.00. One can only hope that the message sent by the men and women of the jury will resonate with some other employer who thinks that it is acceptable to discriminate against their employees on the basis of age. Unfortunately, if you are reading this, your boss, manager, or supervisor probably still probably thinks that he or she can still get away with it.
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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