Supervisor Stating I’m “Going To See To It” That Worker Retires When He’s 62 May Be Direct Evidence Of Age Discrimination

A recent case determined that a trucking firm operations manager could bring a claim for age discrimination. In Hale v. ABF Freight Sys. Inc., D. Archie Hale filed an employment discrimination lawsuit against the trucking firm based on his supervisor’s direct reference to his age when they were discussing his retirement plan.

Under Federal Law, age discrimination is illegal. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discrimination against individuals over the age of 40. Like the other discrimination laws, if you are over 40, your employer may not discriminate against you on the basis of your age, and you are also protected from harassment on the basis of your age. Further, the ADEA prohibits any type of adverse action against you because of your age, including the failure to hire you or a discharge because of your age.

If you have questions about age discrimination or believe that you may have been discriminated at work because of your age, it’s a good idea to seek the advice of an experienced Atlanta age discrimination lawyer right away. Unfortunately, although employers should respect older workers for their hard work and experience, age discrimination is one of the faster growing areas of employment discrimination.

Here, Hale alleged that his managed criticized him frequently for several months before eventually firing him in 2009. For the 12 years prior, he had received satisfactory performance evaluations. However, beginning in 2009 his supervisor stepped up scrutiny of him and began questioning him about his plans for retirement. The criticism increased throughout the year until he was ultimately fired for poor performance.

Hale brought an age discrimination claim and submitted evidence that after telling his supervisor he planned to work until age 67, the supervisor told another worker that Hale is “going to leave here when he is 62” and the supervisor was “going to see to it.”

The 6th circuit court found that this statement could be direct evidence of age discrimination.

The court stated: “Laney was Hale’s immediate supervisor, had decision-making authority over his employment, clearly connected his age to her plans to terminate him, and did in fact terminate him.”

Further, “Laney’s alleged statement shows that her decision was based not on an age-related factor but on age itself,” Judge David W. McKeague wrote. “In short, Laney’s remarks, if believed, require the conclusion that being 62 was the precipitating factor of Hale’s termination.”

Sadly despite their breadth of knowledge and experience, older workers are often not given the respect they deserve at the workplace and continue to face discrimination and bias.

For more information or if you believe you may have been subjected to age discrimination at work, please contact the top Georgia age discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.