9 signs that you'll lose your age discrimination case


My internet friend and worthy adversary Donna Ballman, an employment lawyer who represents plaintiffs, had a good and sad post this week on AOL this week entitled "Nine Signs of Age Discrimination." The comments were especially depressing, from a number of people who said that they'd experienced age discrimination either in losing their jobs, or in their attempts to find jobs.

I've heard a lot "on the street" about the difficulty older workers are having in finding jobs, and I posted a while back on some of the non-discriminatory reasons that might be accounting for that.

I don't know whether there is an epidemic of age discrimination (I sure hope not), but I would like to present the "defense side" of Donna's nine points. So here are my "9 signs that you'll lose your age discrimination case." Many of these will apply to other types of discrimination cases as well.

Sign No. 1: The person who fired you is the same person who hired you not too long ago. We call this the "same hirer/firer" rule. The courts presume that if, say, Supervisor Mary hired you when you were 58 years old and then fired you when you were 60, your age was probably not the issue -- otherwise, she would never have hired you at age 58 in the first place. (On the other hand, if Mary hired you when you were 35 and then fired you when you were 60, you might have a case. Also, an employee can present evidence to rebut the "same hirer/firer" presumption.)

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Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP on:

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