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Age discrimination lawsuits can be tricky

Though many of the stories that we have covered are about workplace discrimination, many people don't think about discriminating against people over 40 years old. Age discrimination is, unfortunately, just another example of employers violating their employees' rights. Any worker, younger than or 40 and older should be judged on their ability to do a job, not on whether they are close to retirement, whether they will accept less pay for the same work, or even if they are more or less likely to incur health care coverage. Sadly, that is not always the case.

At least initially, the older an employee gets, the more valued his or her work experience is. After a certain point, however, employers may tend to prefer younger employees who can devote more time and effort to build the company or organization. It is then that older employees are at greater risk of illegal workplace discrimination based on age.

Even though this discrimination is illegal, it is also hard to prove. According to one out-of-state court, at least, evidence that an employer cannot stick to one reason as to why an older employee has been let go could give rise to an age discrimination case. That evidence alone won't likely win a discrimination case, but one court has said it is enough to bring the case before a jury.

The evidence of age discrimination may not always be apparent, but an employment law lawyer can help a current or former employee find the evidence to support an age discrimination lawsuit.

Source: AARP, "Changing Reasons for Firing May Be Evidence of Age Discrimination," Lisa McElroy, May 22, 2014

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