Best Ohio Age Discrimination Attorney Answer: I work hard but younger people at work keep getting promoted over me, is this illegal? I feel like I’m getting pushed out, what options do I have? What can I expect when I meet with my age discrimination lawyer for the first time?
Age discrimination cases are particularly challenging. Not because the law is more complex or because they are more challenging to prove. Age discrimination cases are tough because they truly break my heart. Clients usually come in because they notice that, they’ve been with their company for a substantial amount of time, they work hard, and typically have decent employee reviews, but they can’t seem to get that promotion. Or our client will say something like “I notice my older co-workers getting replaced by younger and less experienced employees and I think I’m next to be fired or pushed out.” As our employment discrimination attorneys have previously blogged about, age discriminate is unlawful under both Ohio and federal laws and apply to both wrongful termination and refusal to hire. (See: Can I Sue If An Employer Will Not Hire Me Because I’m Too Old? I Need The Best Age Discrimination Lawyer In Ohio!)
I love coffee. That’s what inspired this post. I stopped at my favorite local coffee shop on my way in to work this morning. I love this shop. It’s always crowded, but what I enjoy about this particular shop, is watching the employees work. Maybe it’s this flash of warmer weather that’s giving everyone a little extra pep in their step, or maybe it’s the mass amounts of coffee I’ve been drinking lately, but I watched with amazement. All the employees move as if they are performing a perfectly coordinated dance, that only they know the moves to. One employee works on an espresso, while another worker spins around him to steam milk. One worker grabs more coffee grounds from a top shelf, while another employee works on making the perfect iced tea below. One employee mans the cash register, making sure that every single customer starts their morning with a smile. Every barista works in perfect harmony. This is a dance, these employees have danced this dance before, many, many, times. It’s beautiful to watch. However, when watching this barista ballet, I happened to notice something.
Out of the five or so employees that I could see, not one of them looked over the age of 40. Sure, it could just be a coincidence, that on this particular morning, this coffee shop had all of its younger employees working. My order was called out, and I approached the counter. I took my espresso, thanked the familiar barista, and went on my way. But, it got me thinking about how many older adults are pushed out of service industry jobs. Surely, they’ve had older applicants or employees, right? These young 20 somethings can’t be the only age group that were qualified for this job. With some practice, anyone could master this level of service and dance that dance.
Unfortunately, it’s not just service industry jobs, age discrimination is everywhere. At Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, our employment discrimination lawyers frequently find ourselves helping employees who face age discrimination by their bosses, managers, and supervisor. For some reason, these employers just don’t get that making employment decisions based on the age of older workers is prohibited under Ohio and federal law. Specifically, as our employment law attorneys have blogged about before, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”) as well as Ohio law (R.C. § 4112.02(N), R.C. § 4112.05, and R.C. § 4112.14), make 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 such individual is over the age of 40. (See Can I Sue For Age Discrimination? – Call The Right Attorney; Can My Job Change Rules Against Older Workers?; I Wasn’t Promoted Because I’m Older! – Call The Right Attorney; and Where, When, & How To File An Age Discrimination Claim?).
One way to prove age discrimination under the ADEA is for the employee to show “direct” evidence of age discrimination. This could be a lot of different things, but most commonly this includes a boss’s comments directly referring to an employee’s age. Typically, these comments come in the form of, “You’re not moving so fast today, old man”, “You’ve really slowed down as you’ve gotten older,” or “given your age, don’t you want to retire”, among many others. There are countless examples of comments like this that are made every day in the workplace. It’s important to make a note of these comments when they happen. And, our employment discrimination attorneys don’t just mean a mental note – write it down. Put a date and a time next to it. Keep track of co-workers, clients, or customers that are witnesses. (Even if you haven’t documented everything and have already been fired, all is not lost. Still come meet with our age discrimination lawyers for help pursing a wrongful termination claim.)
It’s understandable that many new clients are nervous when they first meet with our attorneys. In my experience, many of our clients don’t want to cause “trouble,” or think that other people’s opinions of them will change if they see a lawyer. Some have been convinced that they cannot win or that they cannot afford to hire a lawyer – let alone a good lawyer. This is a common expectation. However, at Spitz, The Employee’s Law Firm, we pride ourselves on making client’s experience as painless as possible. Why should you have to lose your job for something completely out of your control? And, the best part, our team of employees’ only attorney will give you a no fee guarantee – we don’t get paid unless you recover. And, the first consultation is not only free, but is completely confidential too.
Everyone ages, unless the fountain of youth is discovered in the next few years, that’s not changing. On a side note: if anyone finds the fountain of youth, I’ll be your first customer!
When we meet with new clients who say they may have an age discrimination claim our attorneys look at a few different factors. Our knowledgeable attorneys will go over the basics, like employment history, and they’ll want to review any documents you’ve brought with you. The ADEA protects employees who are at least 40 years old. As much as we don’t like to admit our age, our attorneys will ask you if you’re over 40 years old. The ADEA kicks in once you turn 40, and we can sue under this law if your employer took any adverse employment action against you based on your age, such as failing to hire, refusing to promote, demoting you to a lower position, cutting your pay, taking away key benefits or responsibilities, and of course, firing you.
Next, we’ll need to know about your job performance at work. Many people are afraid to admit anything wrong they’ve done at work. However, it’s best for us to know the good, the bad, and the ugly so we can best come up with a strategy to win your case. And, minor infractions don’t give your boss or manager the right to skip disciplinary steps under a progressive disciplinary system – especially when substantially younger employees were given lesser discipline. Plus, as employment attorneys who have been doing this for a long time, we’ve seen almost everything. Nothing shocks the firm anymore. No matter what your previous mistakes at work were, it’s likely that we’ve heard worse.
Next, our attorneys will ask how you were fired. The method of how employers terminate employees is always revealing. Sometimes, it’s truly despicable. Some employers don’t even have the decency to fire their older employees in person. Just last week, our lawyers met with a new client come in who was fired over text message after working at the company for nearly a decade! (At least, the idiot manager did not add a winky emoji!). It makes my skin crawl to think that valuable, hardworking, long time employees are still treated this way. Our attorneys will cover the way you were terminated, date, and any other circumstances surrounding your termination. Honesty is always the best policy, and that’s especially true during this stage of the client interview.
The last major factor that our attorneys will discuss with you is who replaced you, if anyone yet. It might not seem important at first, but one of the ways our employment discrimination lawyers can prove a client’s age discrimination case is by demonstrating that a younger person took their job or got the promotion instead of you. It’s okay if you don’t know the person’s exact age. Age is a touchy subject at times, so it’s completely understandable that you don’t know your replacement’s exact age. Our lawyers just need to know if you think they’re younger than you. During this discussion, our attorneys will ask you if the person that replaced you had the same qualifications or was less qualified for the job than you. Again, we don’t expect you to have a copy of their résumé on hand, but just generally, what you know about your replacement.
Our age discrimination attorneys are incredibly skilled and passionate. If I could do one thing for the rest of my work life, it would be new client meetings. My favorite thing about them is feeling the tension and frustration dissipate as the meeting goes on. There are many times when clients come into our office so frustrated and fed up that they can barely speak about their termination or old boss. But, as the meeting goes on, and we explore the full depth of their case, you can feel those angry, negative emotions sort of leave the room. That’s why we work. Let us fight for you.
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 someone 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. Call our office 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 called me ancient” or what happened on “my job.”
This employment law website is an advertisement. 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 if my fired all the older workers in a fake reduction in force?”, “I’m being discriminated against by a younger manager”, or “How do I find the top age discrimination lawyers to sue my employer?”, 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.