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Federal judge to hear FBI agents' age discrimination cases

As most people may already know, Indiana and many other states have strict employment laws that make it unlawful for a business or company to treat any worker unfairly because of age; but what if your employer were the United States Government? How do you claim age discrimination when they are the ones creating the laws?

Several FBI agents discovered just how difficult it would be to prove their age discrimination case in a federal court this month, once again proving how difficult cases like this can be without the right representation on your side.

Forty-five agents, all GS-14 squad supervisors in field offices over the age of 40, claimed that Attorney General Eric Holder forced them to retire early, accept a demotion and loss of pay, or accept a transfer to other offices. The change in bureau policy, the agents claim, was a way for the agency to force older agents from their positions and reduce their pay from $105,211 a year to a little over $89,000.

Recently, a U.S. District judge disagreed, dismissing all but four of the agents' cases. According to court documents, the judge refused to apply this motion to all of the cases because that bureau could not prove that these four agents had failed to file their complaints in a timely manner with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The judge also pointed out that many of the agents had already litigated the matter or had not suffered any adverse employment action as a result of the policy change.

Age discrimination cases like this may seem like an unlikely win for the employees involved because they are up against an employer who makes all of the rules. But even if this appears to be the case, if the right evidence is brought forward and it can be proven that discrimination is present, victims in the case could see a victory worth fighting for.

Source: Courthouse News, "Bulk of FBI Agents Have Age Bias Claims Tossed," Ryan Abbott, Feb. 15, 2013

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