Have you given the best years of your life to a company only to be passed over for a younger worker, or let go so the company can save money? You are not alone. Employers throughout the United States who engage in age discrimination are leaving older workers feeling “just like a number.” These employers simply do not care how difficult it is for an older worker to reinvent themselves and find work.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, our workforce is more diverse, bigger, and older than it was 50 years ago. Yet, rather than value its older workers, employers who engage in age discrimination disregard the years of service of their older workers. Being fired, demoted, or laid off unfairly can be devastating. The loss of a paycheck is a serious concern. However, on many levels, our job is how we identify ourselves. Consequently, the loss of our identity can be severe and depressing.
West Virginia Age Discrimination Lawyers
Bailess Law Firm is committed to fairness in the workplace. We are committed to holding employers accountable for not valuing its older workers. Age discrimination can take on several forms such as:
- Being replaced by a younger worker
- Younger worker receives favorable treatment over you
- Being fired because of your age
- Jokes about your age (“hey old man”)
- Not being hired because of your age despite being qualified
- Retaliation for reporting age discrimination
In order to have an age discrimination claim in West Virginia, you must be 40 years or older at the time the unfair action was taken by your employer. In scenarios where a younger worker receives favorable treatment over you, the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia in Knots v. Grafton City Hosp., 237 W. Va. 169 (2016) held that ten or more years age difference is sufficient to satisfy age discrimination.
Available Damages In West Virginia
In West Virginia, older workers who experience age discrimination are protected by the West Virginia Human Rights Act (“WVHRA”) and common law. In order to be protected under the WVHRA, your employer must have employed at least 12 or more employees for twenty or more weeks in a year. Under the WVHRA, victims of age discrimination may be entitled to the following damages:
- Lost wages (back pay and front pay)
- Emotional distress
- Loss of Dignity
- Job Reinstatement
- Punitive Damages
Contact Bailess Law Firm to Discuss Your Case
At Bailess Law Firm, our team of lawyers have zero tolerance for age discrimination in the workplace. Employers who engage in age discrimination must be held accountable. We recognize the devastation unemployment causes on the family unit. If you have experienced age discrimination or just would like more information, call us for a free consultation at (304) 413-1400 or complete our contact form. We will listen without judgment.