Age Discrimination and Layoffs
Many businesses have struggled in recent years, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll. As a result, some businesses are being forced to downsize, which could lead to layoffs. When a company is selecting employees for a layoff, there are certain factors that cannot be taken into consideration, such as an employee’s age.
Federal and state employment laws prohibit workplace discrimination based on a number of factors, including age. Individuals in Plano, Frisco, and Allen, TX, who suspect that they have been subject to a layoff related to age discrimination can work with age discrimination lawyer Dan A. Atkerson to consider their legal rights regarding financial compensation for related damages.
Employment Laws That Protect Against Age Discrimination
There are state and federal laws in place to protect an employee from experiencing discrimination in the workplace. Some of these laws apply directly to age discrimination. At the local level, Texas laws forbid companies from considering age when making decisions regarding their employees, this includes decisions regarding hiring, termination, layoffs, and wages and benefits.
At the federal level, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibits discrimination in the workplace against individuals who are aged 40 or older. As with the state laws, this forbids employers from making employment decisions on the basis of an employee being aged 40 or older.
Proving a Layoff Was Based on Age Discrimination
Employers are not likely to state that a layoff decision is based on an employee’s age, because they know that is illegal. This makes proving a case of age discrimination somewhat difficult. To prove workplace age discrimination, we strongly urge individuals to work with a knowledgeable age discrimination lawyer, such as Dan A. Atkerson. He can establish a case of age discrimination by relying on direct or circumstantial evidence or by demonstrating disparate impact, or unintentional discrimination.
Employees have the burden to prove that a layoff decision was made on the basis of age discrimination. Evidence that can be used to substantiate this type of claim includes interoffice communication showing that younger workers were being preferred, employee reviews that contradict claims made when giving the reason for a layoff, and witness testimony.
Employees can also establish age discrimination by showing that actions have a disparate impact on employees of a certain age group. For instance, if layoffs are made based on seniority, but the majority of senior employees are aged 40 or older, it could be argued that the basis of the layoff was discriminatory, because it had a disparate impact on older employees.
Potential Damages in an Age Discrimination Case
Individuals who are successful in proving an age discrimination claim may be due financial compensation. The amount and type of damages that are awarded will depend on the damages suffered. Potential damages in an age discrimination case include:
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
- Attorney’s fees
- Emotional distress/suffering
Contact Dan A. Atkerson
If you have recently been laid off and you suspect that it was related to your age, age discrimination lawyer Dan A. Atkerson can help you pursue financial compensation for damages. To discuss your case in further detail, send us a message online or call our law firm at (214) 383-3606.