Can My Employer Make Me Retire?

Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), employers are not allowed to require employees to retire at a specific age unless it meets one of the limited exceptions to the rule. That means that if they just want to fill their team with younger employees and you are still capable of doing your job, they cannot just up and decide that you must retire. If they did that, they have broken the law.

Voluntary Retirement

Voluntary retirement is legal, and it is a way for companies to reduce the number of employee that they have by offering special packages and incentives to eligible employees to retire early.

Employees can be based on voluntary retirement based on various factors. If you are offered early retirement, and you decline that opportunity, your employer cannot fire you for choosing not to retire early.

If your employer has fired you after you refused early retirement, or if your benefits have been reduced because you declined the offer of early retirement, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you suffered.

You should maintain thorough documentation and supporting evidence, so you can show that you were offered early retirement and you declined it.

You should keep any employee evaluations, your employment contract, any memos, and messages, and be sure to make note of any discussions or requests from your employer.

You should also keep any correspondence you receive regarding your offer for early retirement as well as copies of you choosing to decline the offer.

You should also keep any paperwork regarding your termination or separation of employment. You will need to maintain as much supporting evidence and documentation as possible, so you can make sure you have a strong foundation for your claim against your employer if you were wrongfully terminated simply because you declined an offer of voluntary retirement.

Know Your Rights

You should research your rights as there are state and federal laws that will apply to your situation. Also, be sure to keep your employee handbook and employment contract.

The more supporting documentation that you have that you can compare to the laws, the more likely you are to build a stronger claim against your employer.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) was passed in 1967. It is U.S. labor law that forbids employment discrimination against anyone who is 40 years of age or older.

It applies to employers with 20 or more employees and protects employees and applicants who are 40 or older from discrimination in the workplace because of their age.

If your employer violates the ADEA, you can recover damages and they can face harsh penalties for violating the federal law.

These laws were enacted to protect workers from inappropriate behavior including discrimination and harassment. You do not have to tolerate such activity and there are resources available to help you during such difficult times.

The laws were enacted to help you overcome such challenges, so be sure to get your claim underway in a timely manner. Gather all the evidence that you can so you can prove what happened and how it happened.

Discrimination or harassment can happen for many reasons, such as gender, religion, or age. Often, an employer has a track record for treating workers inappropriately, and if you file your claim against the employer, you are not only helping yourself but you could also be protecting other workers from the same mistreatment.

Get Help Today

If you believe you have been the victim of age discrimination and your employer fired you because you declined early retirement, you should speak with an employment law attorney.

An employment law attorney will be familiar with the applicable state and federal laws and will know the best way to proceed with your claim.

Your lawyer will help you gather supporting evidence and documentation, so you can prove what happened and how your employer responded to you declining the offer of early retirement.

When you meet with the employment law attorney, be sure to discuss the payment options. Some lawyers will take cases on a contingency basis while others will require a retainer and charge an hourly rate.

You should know how your lawyer handles such cases when you enlist their help for your age discrimination case. You do have limited time for pursuing a claim, so be sure to get your claim underway in a timely manner. Complete the Free Case Evaluation Form on this page to share the details with a lawyer in your area.

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