At age 65, I was summoned to my office early. I was discharged at that time. The reason? The Company was down sizing because of the economy. I was the senior Dispatcher, most time with the Company. A week prior to this happening, the owner of the company told my supervisor to get drivers hired. He wanted to be able to start running twelve trucks day shift and night shift asap. Is this down sizing?
Employment / Labor Attorney
Your post does not give enough information to allow anyone to unequivocally answer the question. It is possible that the company is downsizing and still hiring in one sector of the company. However, there is no question that your post suggests that the downsizing reason is a pretext for some other reason to terminate you. If the unstated reason is your age, then that would be unlawful. If the unstated reason is performance related, or office politics related, or a whim, it would not be unlawful. In other words, to prove age discrimination you will have to prove that you were terminated because you are age 65, and not any other reason. Absent other evidences that it was your age, that will be very difficult.
If you think there are objective facts that you can point to that will allow you to prove your terminated was because you were 65 years old, then you should locate and consult with an experienced employment law attorney as soon as possible to explore your facts and determine your options. I would suggest you look either on this site in the Find a Lawyer section, or go to www.cela.org, the home page for the California Employment Lawyers Association, an organization whose members are dedicated to the representation of employees against their employers.
Good luck to you.
This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.
Employment / Labor Attorney
You certainly need to talk to an attorney regarding your situation. Whether or not you were discharged because of your age depends on the facts. This would include information on the ages of your co-workers. How old were the other dispatchers/ Did they replace you? How old was the person they replaced you with? Most attorneys who represent employees offer initial free consultations. You can find an employment attorney to talk to you either here on Avvo or at cela.org, the website for the California Employment Lawyers Association.
You should consult with an experienced employment law attorney to discuss the details of your situation. You have not provided enough information for any attorney to provide you with specific advice here. As a general rule, your age alone will not be enough to prove age discrimination. An experienced attorney will know what questions to ask you in order to evaluate your potential claim. While you can look at the DFEH and EEOC webpages for general information (links provided), you should consult with an experienced employment law attorney immediately so you better understand your rights and options. I wish you the best with your situation!
I am not providing a legal opinion based upon your specific case since I do not have sufficient information to form an opinion at this time and in this forum. Moreover, I do not represent any client until I have evaluated their case and we have executed a written attorney-client retainer agreement. Since all legal claims have specific filing deadlines, you should consult an experienced attorney immediately to better understand your options and your filing deadlines.
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