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Age discrimination in the form of layoffs

by | Dec 28, 2018 | Firm News |

Layoffs are an unfortunate reality for many businesses. As part of its reorganization, Sears Holding filed a notice of layoffs, which will impact the local distribution center.

Layoffs typically impact anyone whose job is “non-essential.” However, some companies use such events as an excuse to get rid of employees they no longer want, which typically means older workers. This is a form of age discrimination, but it can be tough to prove. The following factors may help build a case that a layoff functioned as a type of employment discrimination.

Replacing the job

A primary reason why companies lay off older employees is due to the fact they have been with the company for a while and make more money. The CEO eliminates these positions and creates “new” ones with slightly different titles. These new positions often come with lower pay, and the company will seek out younger employees to fill them. You can build a case if you hear people around the office talk about bringing on “new blood.”

Firing based predominantly on salary

By law, companies must provide details of all employees laid off. The employees’ salaries and benefits must go into this report. One common factor is that people who make the most money are the primary victims of the layoff. Although it may be justifiable on paper, this is still a form of age discrimination, as long as it impacts mostly older individuals.

Firing a few token younger workers

Most employers are aware of the dangers of firing large swaths of older employees. As a result, they also include a few younger employees to make it appear as though the layoffs were random. It is vital to remember you may still have an employment discrimination suit on your hands if this occurs. If it was mostly older individuals caught up in the layoff, then a lawsuit can proceed.