Can I sue my employer for age discrimination? That’s certainly an option towards the end of the road. You always want to try to resolve these things out of court if you can, but you certainly can bring a claim under the Age Discrimination and Employment Act, under the federal system, after having filed an EEOC claim, or you could proceed in Tennessee directly to state court. Many state laws will have similar provisions and each state may be a little bit different on whether you can go right to court, or you have to go through an intermediary administrative agency. But you certainly can sue for age discrimination.
One thing I’ll say about age discrimination in terms of lawsuits is that in order to have a claim, you have to show that age is the sole motivating factor to the decision. That’s a very strict standard and it’s one of the higher standards of all of the employment discrimination statutes, because if the defendant can show any other reason why they were taking the action, even if age was 99% of the reason why they made the decision, but 1% was something else, then many courts will dismiss that. This is something to talk to your lawyer about and explore the various ways that you can prove that the discrimination was based on age and solely on age. People ask can I sue my employer for that, but what could they get in return?
If you’re able to make a case, then the elements of your damages are, you can get back pay. In other words, the difference between what you had made before the adverse employment action and what you’re making now. Front pay, which is that same measure, but forecasted into the future. Some people, that’s the most important part about this, because they really don’t think they’re going to be able to go back and find another job making what they were making before, and so they want to make sure that their retirement is protected, and that’s what makes one of the stakes of these litigations that make it so high for plaintiffs is that they need to be able to secure their retirement.
They’re also compensatory damages, such as anxiety, and depression, and mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, which is an important element of damage in any of these kinds of employment cases. Because here in America, what we do is a big part of who we are and when you’re fired, that can have a debilitating effect on people based on their lack of enjoyment of life. Then you can also recover your attorney fees and expenses for having brought the case.
*This is a transcript of the Facebook Live video from 7-5-18 Click here to watch the video.