4 Things You Should Do If You Think You've Been Fired Due To Your Age
Being fired from a job is a stressful occurrence in any situation, but it can be even worse if you believe you were fired due to a reason outside your control. Firing someone due to their age is illegal in the United States, since age is a federally protected class. If you believe you were fired from your job due to your age, here are four steps you can take:
1. Make sure you qualify.
While the Age Discrimination in Employment Act makes it illegal to fire or penalize someone based on their age, this law only applies to people who are older than 40 years old, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. You also need to have been fired solely due to your age to qualify for an age discrimination lawsuit. If you were fired for just cause, such as failing to show up to work, you won't be able to claim age discrimination.
2. Save any correspondence with your former employer.
If you were fired, there is probably a paper trail documenting it. You may need to prove that you were fired based on your age in court, so it's a good idea to save anything that could be used as evidence. Save any emails, voicemail, and text messages correspondence you had with your former employer. These things can be used in court to help make your case.
3. Hire an age discrimination law attorney.
Proving that you were fired due to age discrimination can be difficult, and that's why it's a good idea to hire an excellent attorney. A lawyer who specializes in age discrimination law can help you construct your case. In some cases, your former employer may ask you to waive your ADEA rights, which would make you unable to file an age discrimination lawsuit. If you're considering waiving your rights, you should definitely ask the advice of an age discrimination law attorney first.
4. Don't give up even if you think you don't have proof.
In some cases, you may not have proof of your former employer's age discrimination in writing. However, if your employer said they were firing you due to your age, that may be admissible in court. Furthermore, the court will look at your former employer's hiring and firing habits. If your former employer often fired older employees or passed over qualified candidates for no other reason than their age, your age discrimination law attorney could build a case against them.