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  1. #1
    megamooo is offline Member
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    Age Discrimination/Wrongful Termination

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Maryland

    Hello,

    My husband is in sales. He has been a consistent performer at his company for over 16 years. 2009 was his best year ever. During his annual review today, his sales manager told him that his branch manager wants to get rid of him. The sales manager completed his performance review as a "needs improvement" due to pressure from the branch manager, he said. The sales manager also told him that since he earns a high salary, by getting rid of him, they could save the branch alot of money and give my husband's accounts to a new sale rep who earns much less. This new sales rep was "forced into" the branch as he is the son of the former CEO of the company. When my husband told his sales manager that he wanted to discuss the matter with this branch manager, he was told not to as the branch manager "migh do something rash." The sales manager told my husband that he would meet with him again next Monday.

    I told my husband to go back into the sales manager's office, and request that Human Resources be involved immediately. I also think he should request a meeting with the branch manager as well, even though the sales manager opposes such a meeting. This appears to me to be a case of age discrimination, as well as a personal issue on behalf of the sales manager with regard to my husband's income level.

    What should his next step be?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. #2
    eerelations is offline Senior Member
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    It is perfectly legal for an employer to fire someone in order to hire someone else at a lower salary.

    If your husband is over the age of 40 and has evidence that the primary reason that his employer wants to fire him is his age (and not just that they want to hire someone else at a lower rate), then he should contact the EEOC.
  3. #3
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    That is salary discrimination, not age discrimination. Salary discrimination is legal. It also makes financial sense for a company to let go of the higher paid employees since that will save them the most money while losing the fewest number of employees. That's the decisions companies have to make when the economy is bad.
  4. #4
    megamooo is offline Member
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    Thank for your replys.

    Another aspect to this situation is that this branch manager has made it painfully clear that he doesn't like my husband. Over the years, he has been the brunt of much ridicule from this guy. Nevertheless, he has always chosen to be the bigger person, do his job, and ignore the jaunts. He is a hard working, nose-to-the-grindstone, get it done knid of employee. The now obvious case that the manager has begun to make to eliminate him is just wrong.
  5. #5
    mlane58 is offline Senior Member
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    Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, an employee must show that he is 40 years of age or older, suffered an adverse employment action, was performing his duties at a level that met his employer’s legitimate expectations, and his position remained open or was filled by someone substantially younger. If the employee makes that showing, the employer must articulate a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the adverse employment action. The employee then must present evidence showing that the employer’s stated reasons were a pretext for discrimination.
  6. #6
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by megamooo View Post
    Thank for your replys.

    Another aspect to this situation is that this branch manager has made it painfully clear that he doesn't like my husband. Over the years, he has been the brunt of much ridicule from this guy. Nevertheless, he has always chosen to be the bigger person, do his job, and ignore the jaunts. He is a hard working, nose-to-the-grindstone, get it done knid of employee. The now obvious case that the manager has begun to make to eliminate him is just wrong.
    This is even MORE evidence that this is NOT age discrimination...
  7. #7
    eerelations is offline Senior Member
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    It may be wrong, or unfair, or whatever, but so far everything you've told us your husband has had to put up with is perfectly legal.
  8. #8
    megamooo is offline Member
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    "It may be wrong, or unfair, or whatever, but so far everything you've told us your husband has had to put up with is perfectly legal."

    Which is exactly why my husband has stayed focused on his job and ONLY his job. And he has done it well. The fact that the branch manager's "plan" for him has been in the works for some time--made clear to him today by his tsales--should not be legal.
  9. #9
    mlane58 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by megamooo View Post
    "It may be wrong, or unfair, or whatever, but so far everything you've told us your husband has had to put up with is perfectly legal."

    Which is exactly why my husband has stayed focused on his job and ONLY his job. And he has done it well. The fact that the branch manager's "plan" for him has been in the works for some time--made clear to him today by his tsales--should not be legal.
    Well, he can certainly file with the EEOC and let them determine if there was any discrimination or not. Be prepared as it can take up to at leat 18 months sometimes for them to make a determination.
  10. #10
    cbg
    cbg is offline Senior Member
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    Unfortunately, what "should not be legal" is not a criteria for a wrongful termination. Unless it IS not legal, then it simply is not a wrongful term no matter how unfair it may be.
  11. #11
    Stevef is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by megamooo View Post
    "It may be wrong, or unfair, or whatever, but so far everything you've told us your husband has had to put up with is perfectly legal."

    Which is exactly why my husband has stayed focused on his job and ONLY his job. And he has done it well. The fact that the branch manager's "plan" for him has been in the works for some time--made clear to him today by his tsales--should not be legal.
    When the time comes, he may want to negotiate a release from any non-compete agreement in exchange for a waiver of his right to sue based on age discrimination.
  12. #12
    megamooo is offline Member
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    "Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, an employee must show that he is 40 years of age or older, suffered an adverse employment action, was performing his duties at a level that met his employer’s legitimate expectations, and his position remained open or was filled by someone substantially younger. If the employee makes that showing, the employer must articulate a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the adverse employment action. The employee then must present evidence showing that the employer’s stated reasons were a pretext for discrimination."

    1) He is 46.

    2) If the branch manager gets his way, he will terminate my husband. (Apparently the sales manager has been fighting to keep him, but we're not sure this is actually true).

    3) He has consistently met/exceeded his sales goals. 2009 was his best year ever. He is the #5 most profitable sales rep of 15 in the district.

    4) The new sales rep (no experience, just out of college) is the former CEO's son. He would be the accounts. Over the past 16 years, my husband has developed an extensive list of clients, kept them happy, and earned substantial profit for the company.

    Looks like we have a case.
  13. #13
    mlane58 is offline Senior Member
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    Don't get ahead of youself as the key is "your spouse must present evidence showing that the employer’s stated reasons were a pretext for discrimination."If he can't do this, then there isn't any discrimination.
  14. #14
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
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    Your posted previously that this manager has been giving your husband problems "for years" because he doesn't like him. Personality conflict is a perfectly valid reason to terminate an employee.

    Quote Originally Posted by megamooo View Post
    "Under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, an employee must show that he is 40 years of age or older, suffered an adverse employment action, was performing his duties at a level that met his employer’s legitimate expectations, and his position remained open or was filled by someone substantially younger. If the employee makes that showing, the employer must articulate a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for the adverse employment action. The employee then must present evidence showing that the employer’s stated reasons were a pretext for discrimination."

    1) He is 46.

    2) If the branch manager gets his way, he will terminate my husband. (Apparently the sales manager has been fighting to keep him, but we're not sure this is actually true).

    3) He has consistently met/exceeded his sales goals. 2009 was his best year ever. He is the #5 most profitable sales rep of 15 in the district.

    4) The new sales rep (no experience, just out of college) is the former CEO's son. He would be the accounts. Over the past 16 years, my husband has developed an extensive list of clients, kept them happy, and earned substantial profit for the company.

    Looks like we have a case.
  15. #15
    eerelations is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbg View Post
    Unfortunately, what "should not be legal" is not a criteria for a wrongful termination. Unless it IS not legal, then it simply is not a wrongful term no matter how unfair it may be.
    Agreed. OP, just because you believe something shouldn't be legal doesn't mean it actually isn't legal.
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