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The challenges of layoff-related age discrimination claims

It is something many workers fear: layoffs. Being laid off, particularly after spending a long time at a company, can deeply impact a worker.

Among the things an employee may worry about when they hear their company is going to be doing layoffs is that they might get laid off for an unfair reason. For example, older workers may be worried that they will be selected for a layoff because of their age.

There are federal and state laws against companies discriminating against older workers in things such as layoffs. For example, federal law prohibits companies from taking negative employment actions against a worker because they are 40 or older.

So, individuals who suspect that they were laid off because they are an older worker may have legal options available. For example, they may be able to submit an age discrimination complaint to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Now, there are some significant challenges workers could encounter when pursuing legal actions related to suspected age discrimination in layoffs. For one, there are some fairly tough standards when it comes to what needs to be shown to prove that age-based discrimination was present in connection to a layoff. Finding evidence to meet these standards can be difficult. Pursuing such actions can also have other complex aspects.

When such challenges come up, a worker may be discouraged and worried that they will be blocked from seeking out justice over what happened to them. Now, while these challenges can be formidable, there may be ways to get through them. So, understanding what options one has when such challenges come up can be critical. This underscores how important having the guidance of a skilled employment lawyer can be for a California worker when they are pursuing legal actions over suspicions they have that they were laid off because of their age.

Source: The New York Times, “Shown the Door, Older Workers Find Bias Hard to Prove,” Elizabeth Olson, Aug. 7, 2017

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