Age-related discrimination claims are on the rise: between 1997 and 2007, there were between 16, 000 and 19,000 age-related discrimination claims filed each year. But since 2008, those numbers have risen to between 23,000 and 25,000 claims each year. At the same time, it's gotten harder and harder to win age-discrimination lawsuits.
How You Can Prove Discrimination
First, document age-related remarks directed at you. Note times, dates and places of the remarks and the names of anyone else who heard them. Do the same for age-related harassment or discipline. Second, note the differences between how younger and older workers are treated. If there are layoffs or hiring that seems to side along one side of the generation gap, make a note of who was hired or fired, who was kept on, and the common threads that unite the groups. You need to be able to prove a pattern of unfair treatment based on age.
Why it's harder to win an age discrimination lawsuit
Age discrimination is defined as the termination of an employee aged 40 or older specifically because of their age.
The 2009 Supreme Court case Gross v. FBL elevated the level of proof required for an age discrimination suit. Before that decision, you had to prove that age was among the reasons for your termination. After Gross, you had to prove that it was the motivating factor. That can be hard, since most older employees also make more money due to seniority or work experience, and employers can claim they were let go to save money, not because of their age.
If you have been the target of workplace harassment, discrimination or unfair termination, Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. represents clients in federal court and before the EEOC, MSPB and in state and union grievance hearings.
Our attorneys have more than 35 years dedicated to giving clients the attention, advice, support and empowerment they need to effectively meet their goals. We are committed to the principle that all persons shall have equal justice under the law. Call Bouchillon, Crossan & Colburn, L.C. at 304.523.8451 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.