Tennessee employers are generally not allowed to make employment decisions based solely or primarily on an employee’s age. However, there is still a chance that you will be asked to take a pay cut or retire early simply because your boss thinks that you’re too old to be effective. There are many lines of evidence that you might be able to use to prove that you were the victim of age discrimination.
Ask for personnel records
It may be difficult or impossible to prove that you were demoted, transferred or terminated because of your age. However, it may be possible to prove that your current or previous employer routinely takes action against its older workers. For example, records may show that the company failed to hire or promote anyone over the age of 45 over the past five years. It may also show that only those over the age of 60 were asked to retire early or were denied the ability to take part in workplace development programs.
Companies generally understand that they can’t use a person’s age as a basis for making an employment decision. Of course, this doesn’t mean that a manager or owner won’t accidentally admit that your age was the reason for your termination or why you weren’t up for a promotion. It’s also possible that your manager may admit to violating state or federal employment law in emails, text messages or social media posts that are forwarded to you by others. Retaining copies of these messages may make it easier to prove that something other than your job performance resulted in an adverse event at work.
If you believe that you have been the victim of age discrimination, it may be possible to take legal action. You may be entitled to financial relief, reinstatement to a previous position or other damages. Relief may be obtained through a negotiated settlement obtained on your own or with the help of groups such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). A resolution may also be reached through litigation.