In March 2015, a circuit court judge in Indiana dismissed a portion of an age discrimination lawsuit brought by a former city employee who had worked for the Department of Code Enforcement. As part of the decision, the judge allowed the plaintiff to move forward with a portion of his claims that the former code director, mayor and the city had been engaging in age discrimination practices.

The plaintiff claimed that the former code director had fired him to replace him with a younger worker as part of a larger plan and that the mayor should have had knowledge of the code director’s behavior. The man was 53 at the time he was fired. The code director terminated the former employee in October 2014 for an undisclosed reason. The city later issued a statement that the worker had not done his job successfully, and the former code director hasn’t used false grounds for his termination.

In his complaint, the former employee alleged that the city failed to pay him for the period agreed upon and for unused paid time off, but he also admitted to not signing documentation for severance pay. In his lawsuit, he asked for damages, attorney fees and other related costs.

The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects employees over age 40 from being fired, demoted or laid off based on their age. In age discrimination cases such as the one described above, employees can sometimes try for punitive and out-of-pocket expenses. Under the law, the amount of potential damages depends upon the size of the company for which they work. An employment law attorney maybe be able to help workers to determine whether age discrimination took place and negotiate with the former company for damages and/or reinstatement.

Source: South Bend Tribute, “Portions of Age Discrimination Suit Dismissed,” Erin Blasko, March 26, 2015