Fair Measures, Inc. - Legal Training for Managers

Question & Answer

Can my boss make me retire? 09-09-2009

My boss recently reminded me that I have a birthday coming up and also asked if I was thinking of retiring. I said no, that I wasn't going to retire any time soon (I'm 62). My boss then told me that she was going to reduce my work hours from full time to part time and hire someone else full time to do my job. I have worked at the same job for 23 years and feel like this is age discrimination. Do I have a case? Thank you.

Ann Kiernan replies:

If your job performance is meeting your employer's legitimate expectations, and you have been cut from full-time to part-time just because you are 62, you certainly do have a case! But, if the employer had legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for reducing your hours, the answer may be "no". In June, 2009, the US Supreme Court held in Gross v FBL Fin Servs Group that an age discrimination plaintiff must establish by a preponderance of evidence that age was the cause of the adverse employment action challenged, and not merely a motivating factor.

To better understand your rights and possible choices about litigation, please make sure you consult a local employment attorney promptly. Good luck!

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